I love recipes that are simple enough for a weeknight, but are also special enough to be served to dinner guests. This recipe hits the jackpot for a dish that falls into both categories.
My friend Laurie, also famous for a few other recipes on this blog (Laurie and Amy's Amazing Chocolate Cake, Laurie's Amazing Carrot Cake, Laurie's Creamy White Chili, Laurie's Lemon Bars ) gave me this recipe. If you're new to ABK, here's a tip- anything with this woman's name on it is amazing and worth making.
This dish is perfect for almost any occasion. I mean, really now. Who doesn't love pasta, cream, tomatoes and cheese??
Throw in a little sweet Italian sausage. Perfection in a bowl.
Oh, and I forgot to mention. It takes less than 30 minutes start to serve.
You're going to love this.
And your family will too.
Bowtie Pasta with Sausage, Tomatoes and Cream
Laurie Cutler (with slight alterations and additions)
1- 1 lb package bow tie pasta
1 lb sweet Italian sausage
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup chopped onion
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb fresh mushrooms, washed and sliced
3- 14.5 oz cans Italian style diced tomatoes, drained
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
salt to taste
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
additional Parmesan or Romano cheese, fresh grated
Cook pasta in boiling water according to package directions. Drain, toss with a little olive oil and set aside.
Using medium-medium high heat cook sausage, red pepper flakes, chopped onion and sliced mushrooms in large pan until sausage is browned a bit, breaking up sausage into bite size chunks while cooking. This takes about 5 minutes. Add garlic during last minute of cooking. Drain the grease. Pat sausage mixture with paper towels to remove excess grease from meat.
Stir in tomatoes, cream and salt. Simmer until mixture is thickened a bit, about 8-10 minutes. Add about 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese to sauce.
Stir cooked pasta into sauce, or pour sauce over cooked pasta on platter. Sprinkle with chopped fresh basil and grated Parmesan or Romano cheese.
Serves 6 as a main dish
See tips below for making this lower in fat.
-I use a mixture of part sweet Italian sausage and part spicy sausage.
-You may use part half and half, and part cream.
-I have used both Italian chopped tomatoes, or cans of plain chopped tomatoes.
-To lighten this up, you could use 2-3 chicken breast halves and all half and half. Crush two of the cans of tomatoes before adding to the pan with a masher, or pulse in a blender for a few seconds.
-When tomatoes are in season, use fresh juicy tomatoes, such as beefsteak tomatoes. Chop several into a bowl, scooping juice into the bowl as well. Measure out about 5 1/2 cups of fresh tomatoes and juice. Add 2 teaspoons of salt, pinch of sugar and any of the following fresh or dried herbs( about 3 tablespoons fresh each, 1 tablespoon dried) parsley, thyme, oregano.
-This can also be made in the slow cooker. Cook the sausage, drain and place in slow cooker. Add the rest of ingredients, except the cream. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
last half hour of cooking, add the cream. Stir and turn temperature to high. Serve as directed over cooked pasta, top with fresh basil.