Penne Pasta with Hot Italian Chicken Sausage
Few months ago I bought some pork sausage meat to make an appetizer to serve the guests I was expecting that day. I cooked the sausage and was going to assemble the snack after the guests arrived. Guests came late and I did not make the snack. Next day I made that into a curry and we really liked it a lot. I added the curry to my pork recipes list for this month’s on going Cooking Carnival. This was when I was still going back and forth with my sub themes.
Later, I decided not to do pork as an ingredient. As I was finalizing the list for chicken recipes, I listed crumbled pork sausage curry recipe with chicken sausage. This week when I was rapping up cooking for this week’s blog posts, I wasn’t thrilled about chicken sausage curry as the final dish would still look like ground chicken saute, which I posted on day 10.
Keeping the same idea, I thought why not a one pot meal. Instead of making a curry with hot Italian sausage, I threw in some pasta to make it a one-pot meal. This is such a quick way to fix one-pot meal for weeknight dinners.
I threw in some spinach as well to make this a more balanced meal. I used only spinach but one can add veggies of choices. Both of us do not like too much of tomato sauce in our pasta and I usually prefer adding fresh tomatoes. Hence used some diced tomatoes. If one has some canned tomatoes or pasta sauce, that can substitute fresh tomatoes. I also used less pasta as we are trying to cut back on carbs. Overall, this was a filling meal.
Total Time: 25 – 35 minutes
Preparation: 15 – 20 minutes (Time to cook pasta)
Cooking Time: 10 – 15 minutes
Serves: 2 with a moderate appetite
- 1 cup Penne Pasta
- ½ tsp. Salt
- 1 lb (3 pieces) Hot Italian Chicken Sausage
- 1 tbsp. Olive Oil
- 3 Garlic Cloves, chopped, about 1 tbsp
- 2 small Vine Tomatoes, diced or chopped, about 1 ½ cup when diced
- 1 cup firmly packed Baby Spinach
- ⅛ tsp. Dry Oregano
- ⅛ – ¼ tsp. Dry Basil
- ½ tsp. Salt (adjust to taste)
- ½ tsp. Chili Flakes (adjust to taste)
- 2-3 tsp. grated Parmigiano Reggiano (add more according to preference)
- Cooking Pasta – In a saucepan or a pot, bring water to boil.
- Add salt, pasta and give a good stir.
- Cook for 12 – 15 minutes until pasta is al dente, stirring in between.
- Reserve ½ cup of pasta cooked water and drain the pasta in a colander or a strainer.
- Cooking Sausage – While the pasta is cooking, take a wide saute pan and heat oil. I used a stainless pan and used 1 tbsp oil. If using a nonstick pan, can cut down on oil.
- Remove sausage casing, crumble sausage and add it to hot pan.
- On medium high flame, saute crumbled sausage, breaking it further to finer crumble. It is ok to have big chunks. Reduce the flame if sausage is burns.
- Cook until sausage is almost cooked, about 5 – 8 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and wait for the pasta to cook. If pasta is already cooked, continue with the preparation.
- Pasta Sausage – Add chopped or crushed garlic, chili flakes, salt and cook for a minute.
- Add tomatoes, spinach and cook until tomatoes are soft.
- Add oregano, basil and stir until well blended.
- Add pasta and ¼ cup or more pasta cooked water, depending on how dry the pasta is.
- Stir well until everything is well blended.
- Continue cooking until flavors seep into pasta and chicken is fully cooked.
- Serve hot sprinkling some cheese on top.
- I used penne pasta. Fusilli, rotini, linguine, spaghetti or even shell pasta can be used. I used what I had in my pantry.
- I used dry herbs here. I did not want to buy a packet of basil when I need just few sprigs. If you have fresh basil, use it for more flavorful.
- Adjust chili flakes depending on how hot the sausage is. For more heat, increase chicken flakes quantity or add some pepper powder.