The Dish | Summer Penne with Tomatoes, Fresh Basil, and Veggies

Fresh and bright with the late summer bounty, this recipe is a family favorite. In the Wilson household, I often add 5 links of sweet or hot Italian turkey or pork sausage and serve with arugula or Caesar salad.

  • 2 pints Santa Sweet or baby tomatoes, cut into 2 or 3 slices each
  • 5 oz shiitake or portobello mushrooms, sliced
  • ½ red sweet onion, sliced thinly
  • 6 oz chicken or veggie broth
  • ⅔ stick butter
  • ½ cup grated parmesan
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 cup fresh spinach, chopped 
  • ½ cup fresh basil, torn into pieces
  • 12 oz box penne, or similar shaped pasta
  • Salt and pepper
  • ⅓ cup pine nuts
  • Olive oil as needed
  • Optional: for a meaty version, add 5 links sweet or spicy turkey or pork sausage (casings removed)
  • If you’re adding in sausage, crumble and cook in a sauté pan in butter or olive oil until done, then remove from heat.
  • In a separate skillet, toast pine nuts with a little salt and olive oil until slightly browned. Remove from heat.
  • Bring pot of water with olive oil and salt to boil. Cook the pasta.
  • In same sausage sauté pan, lightly sauté garlic and onion in a little of the butter or olive oil until soft.
  • Add in mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add in sliced up tomatoes with salt and pepper and cook for two minutes.
  • Add in chicken broth, remaining butter, parmesan, chopped spinach, sausage (if including) and fresh basil. Let simmer while pasta finishes cooking.
  • Scoop penne onto plates and toss with sauce.
  • Sprinkle toasted pine nuts on top and serve.

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