I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to introduce this recipe, and y’all, there really just aren’t words. This is one of my absolute favorite recipes, the meal I make as a treat for Matt, my go-to meal for company… and a recipe I share and am asked for time and time again. No one dislikes this, and everyone wants the recipe. It’s a weekend meal to me — heavy cream during the week is just extravagant to me for some reason — but it’s not all that time consuming or complicated to make.
Make it. Everyone in your life will thank you, and consider you the greatest cook in all the world.
Penne with Mustard, Basil and Sausage
via my mom, about 10 years ago (adapted from maybe Bon Appetit?)
1 pound penne or medium shells
8 hot Italian sausages, meat removed from casings and crumbled (about 1 ½ pounds)
¾ cup dry white wine
¾ heavy cream
3 tbsp grainy mustard
pinch of crushed red pepper
1 cup thinly sliced basil
Box grape tomatoes, halved
1/2-3/4 c freshly grated Parmesan, plus more to taste
Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente; drain.
Meanwhile, heat a large, deep skillet. Add the sausage meat and brown over moderately high heat, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and simmer, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom until reduced by half, about 5 minutes.
Add the cream, mustard and crushed red pepper and simmer for 2 minutes.
Remove the skillet from the heat, add the pasta, basil, tomatoes and cheese; toss to coat.
Serve at once.
My notes from years of experience:
- The original recipe did not call for the tomatoes or the cheese but I cannot imagine this dish without them.
- This recipe does not adapt well to low-fat. I’ve made it with (Barilla Plus) wheat noodles and turkey Italian sausage with no problems, but fat-free cream just does not work here. Embrace the heavy cream. And then have a dash in your coffee the next morning – it won’t kill you.
- There’s no way the sausage/cream goodness is going to fit into the skillet with the pasta and tomatoes and basil. Pour the pasta in a big bowl, top with everything and serve.
- Make the whole recipe, even if there are just two of you — this makes great leftovers.
And then sit back and enjoy the accolades.
You are indeed a culinary genius,