Monday, June 7, 2010

Peasant Pasta

This recipe was actually the first recipe I ever posted. Long before I read any food blogs or thought about blogging about food, I loved this recipe so much I knew I had to share it. Though I eventually deleted the recipe since there was no picture accompanying it, I decided to take some pictures and give it another go.


I really do adore this dish. In fact, it is probably my favorite spaghetti-type dish. Whenever I am looking for something simple and quick, this is the recipe I end up making. Most of the ingredients are ones I always have in the house and like all Rachel Ray recipes this recipe makes a lot of food.


Peasant Pasta is not the type of dish you need to think too hard about. Don't have regular sausage? Then leave it out (I always do). Don't have any heavy cream? Use half/half or evaporated milk. Hate peas? Lean them out. You can even swap out the crushed tomatoes for a jar of prepared spaghetti sauce if that's what you've got on hand. This recipe is foolproof.

Would I make this again? Like I said, it's a staple in our house.

Peasant Pasta


1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan
1/2 pound hot Italian sausage, available in bulk at butcher counter or, 2 links, casings removed
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, available in bulk at butcher counter or, 4 links, casings removed
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped, optional
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup frozen green peas
24 leaves fresh basil, torn or thinly sliced
1 pound penne rigate pasta, cooked to al dente
Grated Italian cheese, for passing


1. Heat a large, deep skillet over medium high heat. Add extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan. Add sausage meat. Crumble sausage meat as it browns. Add chopped garlic to the pan.

2. When all of the crumbles have browned evenly, deglaze the pan drippings using chicken or vegetable broth. Stir in crushed tomatoes and bring the sauce up to a bubble, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Stir cream into your sauce, this will blush the color and cut the acidity of the tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir peas and basil into your sauce to combine.

3. Toss hot drained penne rigate in pan with the sauce, then transfer pasta to serving bowl.

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