I’ve been really into quick and easy dishes lately. I’m sure you can tell. I’ve been posting nothing but simple, easy recipes for the past few weeks, and this one is no different. It came from an attempt to use up leftover pasta sauce and Italian sausage that was in the freezer on a what-the-heck-am-I-going-to-cook-for-dinner kind of night.
I’m sure most of you can relate. Even after spending an hour meal planning and several hours grocery shopping and cleaning out the fridge, all in an attempt to prevent us from having to scrounge for crumbs in the cabinet, I still manage to have so many of those nights. And, I still experience a little twinge of panic every time.
But, sometimes those nights turn out to be the best nights, just like this one did. There’s no recipe following, note-taking or adjustment making. It’s just me, in the kitchen, doing what I love most. I just cook. And, I ended up with this delicious Italian sausage tomato sauce, an easier sausage-based version of my favorite bolognese sauce. It works so well with the heartiness of the whole wheat pasta, and the added flavors from the sausage completely eliminate the need for parmesan cheese on top (although, you can totally add it if you want).
Of course, after sitting down and actually eating this dish, I knew I had to share it with you. So I ended up making a few notes after all, just so I didn’t forget what I had done. But, for a few brief moments, I forgot all about recipe writing and development, and I just enjoyed something I had made. It was strangely satisfying.
Don’t get me wrong though, I love recipe writing and everything that goes with it. It’s just nice to take a break once in a while, and just enjoy the food.Print
- 1 16-ounce package whole wheat penne pasta
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound Italian sausage meat (or sausage removed from casings)
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup prepared pasta sauce (I used Barilla)
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse or kosher salt (optional)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
- Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente.
- In a large skillet, heat olive oil to medium high heat. Add Italian sausage and cook until brown, breaking the meat up as it cooks. When sausage is no longer pink, add minced garlic. Continue to cook the sausage until a golden brown color has developed, about 10 minutes.
- Add tomatoes, pasta sauce, basil and salt. Reduce heat to medium and simmer sauce until the pasta is ready.
- Drain pasta and toss with sauce. Add parsley and stir to combine.
Last Updated on January 8, 2021 by Melissa Belanger