Ruth over at Once Upon a Feast has been hosting Presto Pasta Nights for a whole year now. Thanks, Ruth! I really wanted to participate in this week’s roundup–the big PPN birthday–so hopefully I am not too late!
Like any “presto” kind of dish, this meal came together with ingredients I always manage to have on hand (OK, I did have a minor panic attack on Monday when I made pizzas and realized, to my horror, that I was out of goat cheese but I have since remedied that situation). It’s a dish that’s easy to prepare but definitely not lacking in flavor. The goat cheese gives this pasta a creamy consistency (and makes it a pretty color!) and is a bit better for you than heavy cream. Plus, it just gives that little tang of extra flavor. I’m really glad I made enough to take leftovers for lunch tomorrow.
Penne with Sausage and Goat Cheese-Tomato Sauce
Chicken 1 Tbsp. olive oil
12 oz. spicy Italian sausages, casings removed (I use chicken sausage)
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
1/4 tsp. (or to taste) crushed red pepper flakes
a few tbsp of wine or broth (not necessary but it’s good for deglazing)
1 (28oz) can crushed tomatoes
8-10 oz. penne
1/2 cup frozen peas
3 Tbsp. fresh basil (more for garnish if desired)
1 small (4oz) log goat cheese
Heat a large skillet or saute pan over medium heat, and add the olive oil. When shimmering, crumble in the sausage and saute until browned. Add the onion and saute for about 2 minutes before adding the mushrooms and garlic. Once the mushrooms and onions are tender, add the tomato paste and red pepper flakes. Cook for about a minute before adding a few splashes of broth/wine to deglaze the pan and scrape up all the browned bits.
Add the crushed tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste. Turn the heat to medium-low and simmer to combine the flavors, 10 or 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt. Stir in the pasta and cook until al dente.
Add the peas to the sauce, and heat through for a minute or two. Stir in goat cheese and stir until it has melted into the sauce. Off the heat, add the basil.