Prepare your next pasta dish with pork, like this Spicy Italian Sausage Penne Pasta dish, and reinvent pasta night! A spicy tomato sauce, with peppers and onions, and lots of dried chilies, is simple and rustic, but so delicious!
I’ve been on a sausage kick lately and it all started because of a recent sausage sale. I’m usually the type to worry about meat being on sale – doesn’t it just sound wrong? Or is that just me?
I’m not talking about those day-sales you see at some grocery stores. For instance, the grocery store closest to me will have these bright yellow stickers on meat items in the display case that read: 50% – Enjoy tonight! Um, no thanks!
If I’m staring down at a t-bone steak that’s originally priced at $25 and you’re asking me to enjoy it tonight for $12, I’m going to completely pass. There are a few things in this world that I will not compromise or budge on, and discounted meat is one of them. I’ll pay full price, thanks!
Oh, and in case you’re wondering, the other things in terms of food items which I will not compromise on are as follows (in no particular order): Diet Coke (there’s just no other!); all bread(s) must be as grainy and as seed-filled as I can possible find – no exceptions; Starbucks (green tea frap!); Heinz or French’s; Clark’s; Hellman’s; Kraft (for some things); Philadelphia; and Armstrong.
Rather than tossing out brand names though, I’ll get back to the sausage sale. So this particular sale was a week long store special. John.e and I will regularly peruse the grocery flyers for sales. For the most part, we aren’t grocery sale shoppers, but if something catches our eye, we’ll most likely end up completing our entire Saturday or Sunday morning grocery shop at that one store.
In most cases, we are on the look-out for what we consider pantry items – canned or dried beans, dry pasta, cereal, or Clif bars. We are total Clif bar junkies. A few weeks back, they were on sale for $12 a box (twelve bars in a box) and we bought 8 boxes. Who the hell needs that many granola bars??
Again… I’m off topic. The Italian sausages were 5 large links for 3 dollars – deal, right? I bought 4 packages because I knew I could freeze them. In a previous life, I used to buy sausages regularly and freeze them, but now I very rarely buy them except when a good sale comes along.
A good spicy sauce made from the sausage was just the thing I needed on a Sunday evening. This recipe yielded enough so that I could portion out some for myself, as well as portions for four other people. I like to package up meat-based recipes and give them to our neighbours since John.e and McKenna are vegetarians. I most certainly can’t eat it all – well, I could, but I shouldn’t. That’s more like it!
It’s my good deed. I don’t do many “good” things, so this is my way of giving back, even if it’s just a little. Being a food blogger, I tend to ALWAYS have excess amounts of food on hand. And, just like my mother used to do, I always cook for groups of people rather than just one or two. So, rather than let it go to waste, I share it with our neighbours.
We are so lucky to have the most wonderful neighbours, which is not always the case when living in an apartment building in the city. We have an elderly couple upstairs who are exactly what I want to be like when I’m in my 90s. (If I’m lucky enough to live to that age!) Jack and Shirley are the main recipients of the food you see on my blog that have meat as an ingredient.
We have our kitty auntie down the hallway who takes care of our cats, Jake and Maggie, whenever we are out of town. And, she’s a rock star cat-sitter too! She will take care of them for an entire week without hesitation. And both Jake and Maggie love her. Louise is a fan of baked goods and will often receive cookies, scones, squares, and cake. Her sister, Donna, lives in the building too and she also takes part in the freebies.
We also have our Mahjong buddies who mostly are on the receiving end of baked goods. But, whenever there’s a Sunday afternoon Mahjong game day, I’m always sure to stock up on finger foods. (It’s how I win most of the games; distract them with food!) Don’t tell SueLen or Leslie, but that’s exactly how I do it. Ha!
When all was said and done though, I really enjoy it. I’m a giver and it gives me so much pleasure to feed people. I’m not sure why that is, but feeding people is one of my favourite things to do, especially when the food is as good as this Spicy Italian Sausage Penne Pasta!
- 5 Italian sausage links, casings removed
- 450 grams penne pasta, cooked, drained and cooled
- 1 can diced tomatoes (28 ounces)
- 1 can tomato paste (5 ounces)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup white onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup green bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried red chili flakes (or to taste)
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated (plus more for garnish, optional)
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped (optional)
- In a large skillet, over medium heat, add the olive oil, sausage, onion, and red and green bell peppers.
- Cook the sausage until done, breaking apart the lumps of sausage meat as you go along. To fully cook through the sausage and break down the pieces so that the sausage resembles cooked ground beef, it should take about 25 minutes. This will ensure that the peppers and onions have cooked as well.
- Add the basil, oregano, dried chili flakes, diced tomatoes, and tomato paste. Stir all ingredients together and continue to cook until the sauce begins to bubble slightly.
- Lower the heat to simmer, cover the skillet, and continue to cook the sauce for 10 minutes.
- Add in the cooked pasta and toss to coat.
- Turn off the heat. Add the parmesan and parsley. Toss to mix and serve immediately.
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