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5/5 - (3 votes)

This dish is so tasty our first batch disappeared in a heartbeat and the guests were still scratching around for more. It’s also so easy to make that you can assemble a quick Mise en Place (stick all the ingredients into bowls) and cook outdoors. There are few ingredients, steps, or complications, but the flavors are bright and cheery. We recently cooked this dish outdoors, and with our ocean view imagined that we were looking out over the Meditteranean from our (mythical) place in Italy:


Cooking Al Fresco!

Ingredients (6 servings)

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 small red onions, peeled and chopped
5 Italian Sausages (2 spicy and 3 sweet is a nice combination)
1 2/3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 small dried hot chile peppers, crumbled
1 28-ounce can peeled plum tomatoes, drained and chopped
11 ounces penne pasta
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 heaping cup of freshly grated Parmesan
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper


Heat the oil in a large sauce pan and sauté the onions until they are light brown.

Remove the sausage meat from the casings, crumble it, and add it to the sauce pan along with the rosemary, bay leaves, and chile. Sauté over high heat, mashing the sausage meat every so often to be sure it crumbles.

When the meat has browned, remove all but 1 tablespoon of the fat, and continue cooking for another 20 minutes until the sausage meat is brown and crumbly.

Add the tomatoes, stir, and bring to a boil.

Remove from stove.

Cook the penne in boiling salted water and drain thoroughly.

Stir the cream into the sauce, add half the Parmesan, and then toss the penne in the sauce until coated and thoroughly mixed.

Season, and serve with the remaining Parmesan.