The Dish | Penne with Baby Tomatoes, Fresh Basil, Sausage and Veggies

With it’s bright, summery flavors, this recipe is a (small or large) crowd pleaser. I usually use spicy pork sausage, but sweet or mild sausage (or turkey sausage) — or no sausage at all — works as well. Serve with an arugula or Caesar salad on the side.

  • 2 pints Santa Sweets baby tomatoes – cut into 2 or 3 slices each
  • 5 oz shitake or portobello mushrooms sliced
  • 5 links of sausage of your choice (pork or turkey sausage – spicy, sweet or mild)
  • ½ red sweet onion sliced thin
  • 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 in pieces
  • 12 oz box penne
  • Salt and pepper
  • ⅓ cup pine nuts
  • Olive oil
  • Bring a pot of water with olive oil and salt in it to boil. Cook the pasta when you are almost done making the pasta sauce.
  • Toast pine nuts and a little salt in a small skillet with olive oil until slightly browned. Remove from heat and set aside. This step can be done ahead.
  • Remove sausage casing, break into pieces and brown in a large sauté pan until done; remove from heat, and pour off any excessive rendered fat. Fine to leave some for flavor. The sausage can also be done ahead and set aside for when you’re ready to put the sauce together.
  • In same pan, add olive oil or butter (2+ Tbsp) lightly sauté garlic and onion until soft.
  • Add in mushrooms and cook for 2 mins, using more olive oil or butter if needed.
  • Add in sliced up tomatoes and salt and pepper and cook for two minutes.
  • Add in stock (chicken or veggie), remaining butter, parmesan, chopped spinach, cooked sausage (if including) and fresh basil. Let simmer while pasta finishes cooking.
  • When pasta is done, reserve some of the cooking water to use to lengthen and/or thicken sauce if desired.
  • Adjust seasoning and toss pasta with finished sauce.
  • Sprinkle toasted pine nuts and more parmesan on top and serve.

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