Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Penne with Sausage, Tomatoes and Ricotta

This dish was inspired by a recent visit to Carrabba's. It is actually pretty easy to throw together, takes very few ingredients, but has lots of flavor. I used a can of San Marzano tomatoes, which are a special variety of plum tomatoes that come from a small town of the same name near Naples, Italy. They're a little sweeter and less acidic. I added in some fresh basil and a dollop of ricotta cheese for creaminess. Bon Apetito!

What You'll Need:
1 package of hot Italian turkey sausage (or pork if you'd like), removed from the casing
1/2 an onion, chopped (white or yellow)
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 (28-ounce) can of whole, peeled, San Marzano tomatoes
1 box of penne pasta
basil, about 8 leaves, plus 4 leaves
handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
0live oil
salt and pepper

How to Make It:
In a large skillet or pot, add a little olive oil and heat over medium to medium-high. Add the sausage and cook while crumbling. Once brown, add the onion and garlic and cook until soft, about 5 minutes or so.

At this point start to boil your water for the pasta and the penne once the water is boiling. Back to the sausage and onion mixture, add the can of tomatoes (and the juice), crushing the tomatoes in your hand as you add them. Season with a little salt and black pepper. Allow to simmer while your pasta cooks.

Roll the 8 leaves of basil together like a cigar, slice to make ribbons. Add the ribbons of basil to the sauce. Once the pasta is done, drain. Spoon into bowls, top with some of the sauce and finish with the additional basil leaves, chopped parsley, freshly grated parmesan cheese and a dollop of ricotta cheese.


  1. I almost always add ricotta to my tomato sauce. Try it! It gives a rich flavor and thicker consistency. Yum! Love this recipe and will try it soon. xoxo

  2. That looks/sounds amazing and we were just at Carraba's last night!

  3. Yummers! I'm thinking this is on the menu this week.