This past Sunday was one of those days that begged for a quick, hearty dinner. The air had a chill to it, football was on in the family room and we’d just returned from a weekend in Philadelphia.
Whether I’m at Wegmans or my local grocery store, organic chicken sausage is always available and usually on sale. I love it because it can sit in my fridge, and with an expiration date over a month out, I don’t have to worry about squeezing it in right after I buy it. It’s also perfect for those dinners when you’re in a pinch and need something quick.
In Sunday’s case, I had the chicken sausage in my fridge and the rest of the ingredients were pulled from either the pantry or our garden. The result was out of this world, and the leftover penne with chicken sausage worked perfectly for lunch the next day!
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ box dried penne
- 1 package fully cooked chicken sausage
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1½ cups marinara sauce
- 1 cup chicken broth
- ½ freshly chopped basil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup pasta water
- Set a large pot of water to boil. Warm 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a deep skillet over medium-high heat, then add the chicken sausage, browning each side for 2 minutes. Remove the sausage to a plate to rest.
- Meanwhile, pour 2 more tablespoons of olive oil into the skillet. Add the onions and saute them for 3 minutes, then add the garlic and salt, and continue cooking for 1 minute longer. Pour the chicken broth in, bring it to a boil and then reduce the heat to let it simmer for 5 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced by half.
- Once the water has come to a boil, add the penne and cook until just before al dente, about 9 minutes.
- Slice the sausages and add them, along with the marinara and half the basil, to the skillet. Give it a good stir, and then cover the skillet, continuing to let the mixture simmer while the pasta cooks.
- Fold the cooked pasta and ½ cup pasta water into the skillet mixture, making sure the penne is well-coated. Sprinkle the pasta with the remaining basil and serve it hot with shredded mozzarella or Parmesan as garnish, and a crusty loaf of bread.