Penne with Sausage in Rose Sauce

Okay, here is another partly-improvised recipe from yours truly. I tried to use ingredients we had that needed using, including some Isernios Mild Italian Sausages (LOVE!) and the last of the tomatoes from our garden which had ripened on the window sill. Knowing Chris hates tomatoes, I had to find a way to incorporate them without being too tomato-y, so I decided on a rose sauce.

Penne with Sausage in Rose Sauce 
Serves 2, ~20 minutes

2 cups penne pasta
2 large Italian sausages*, casing removed and broken up (or 1/2 lb ground sausage)
3 small Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped**
1/2 onion, diced
1/4 cup cream
3 cloves garlic, minced 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes*
1-2 tsp Italian seasoning blend
2 pinches of fresh parsley, optional
salt, pepper

 * I tend to prefer mild Italian sausage and then spice as I like. If you like hotter, you can get hot Italian sausage and/or use more ground red pepper 

** If you are one of those people who LIKES tomatoes, chop an additional Roma and toss in with sauce during final step, or use as garnish on top.

  1. Start water boiling, salt, add pasta when it begins to roil. Cook al dente while continuing with below steps. 
  2. Heat olive oil in large pan over medium heat 
  3. Add sausage to pan and cook until no longer pink ~8 minutes. 
  4. Add onions and garlic and cook until onions are translucent ~6-8 minutes. 
  5. Using an immersion blender or Magic Bullet type device, put tomatoes and red pepper flakes into cream and blend until tomatoes are blended to your liking. Careful not to over-blend and turn cream into butter, but a thickening of the cream during this step is a bonus, IMO as it shortens reduction time in the pan.
  6. Pour cream into pan with sausage/onion/garlic; add Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper to taste; heat through. If you feel the cream needs more reduction, give it a few minutes on a low simmer to thicken.
  7. Drain pasta, put pasta in pan with sausage and sauce and toss to coat.
  8. Divide between two pasta bowls, garnish with tomato and/or a pinch of parsley, and enjoy!
Other optional suggestions:
Diced green or red pepper adds color and flavor. Add with just before step 3 and allow to cook a minute before adding sausage to pan.
Some people can't stand a pasta without parmesan. Go ahead, throw some in or on this dish as you like. I didn't see the need, but I understand if you do!

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