Friday, June 1, 2012

Sausage Penne with Sweet Peas

Just for Cooking is all about taking comfort food and making it healthier.  Over the past year and a half, my readership continues to grow and I appreciate you all very much.  

This week I launched a new online cookbook called Cafe' Cheapo.  Each week I will post a new upscale healthy recipe or two suitable for entertaining, but the good part is no meal will cost more than $20 to make.  Many will cost as little as $10 or under. 

If you have a chance, please visit me at Cafe' Cheapo and follow me there too if you'd like.  The URL is  http://cafecheapo.blogspot.com/ .

In an ongoing effort to improve this blog, I've given you a slightly bigger reading area.  This now also gives me more space to post nicer pictures. 

Also, I finally added a print friendly button at the bottom of the post area.  You can now more easily print and save any recipes that you like.  There is an option (a check box) which allows you to remove the pictures if you just want to print text.

Now on to today's recipe:

This is a quick and easy weeknight dish.  I could actually be a Cafe' Cheapo recipe because it's inexpensive to make and it's somewhat impressive considering that it only takes about 1/2 hour to prepare.   You can use mild Italian pork or turkey sausage.  I added a little crushed red pepper to give it an extra kick.  That is optional.

If you do not want to use the beer to deglaze, use 1/2 cup more of the vegetable stock.  You can also substitute non alcoholic beer.


Sausage Penne with Sweet Peas


Ingredients:

1/2 pound whole wheat or whole grain penne pasta, cooked per package directions
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup sweet onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 pound pork or turkey sausage, mild Italian variety
Pinch or two of crushed red pepper (optional)
Pinch of sea salt, more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup beer or ale (do not use a dark beer)
1 cup organic vegetable stock
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup frozen sweet peas
Grated Parmesan cheese for passing at the table
Fresh torn basil (optional)

Directions:

Keep cooked pasta warm while preparing the sausage.




In a large skillet, add the olive oil, the onion, and the celery.  Cook for three minutes until softened. 

Add the garlic.  Cook for one more minute, making sure that the garlic doesn't burn. 




Remove sausage from casing if not using bulk sausage.  Add sausage to pan and break apart with the back of a spoon.  Brown the sausage for about four or five minutes. 



Add the crushed red pepper, if using, the salt and the pepper.   Deglaze the pan with the beer or ale, scraping the browned bits from the bottom. 



Before all the beer or ale cooks off, whisk the stock and the tomato paste together and pour into the skillet. 

Stir in the peas.  Bring to boil and reduce to simmer, about fifteen minutes. 

Plate the sausage with the pasta and toss well to combine.  Top with grated cheese and fresh basil.




I like to serve this with wilted spinach and garlic bread.  

Now that's a pasta dish!  It's so good.  You will even love the leftovers.

Have a great day and I'll see you soon!

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