As winter starts to fade and spring begins to bloom, I’m finishing off the last half of my second semester of college. This upcoming month, I have more deadlines than imaginable and have to prepare a presentation for a conference next week. Over spring break I spent ten days on the big island of Hawaii (pictures to come), and when I came back I was extremely jetlagged and busy with homework I put off. Somehow in my free three days before going back to school, I caught up on work and I cooked for my friends. They are never ones to decline a free meal, so they came over when I made this pasta dish.
What stands out for me in this recipe is the sauce that goes with this. It’s rich, yet not overbearing. Over the years, making pasta sauce has never been my thing. Either it comes out too chunky, or overly bitter when it needs to be savory.
- 1 packaged Italian Sausage
- ½ lb Penne Pasta ( half a 16 oz box)
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 tablespoon Cajun Seasoning
- ½ Onion, minced
- 2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter
- 3 cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 cup Heavy Cream
- 1/2 teaspoon Lemon Zest
- 1/4 cup Monterey Jack
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
- Start by cutting just the sausage into small pieces, and cook it according to the package in a small skillet with water. Once al dente, drain and set aside.
2.) Now cook the penne pasta in a boiling pot of salted water. Again fix according to the box. I like to add about 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the water so the pasta doesn’t stick together. When it’s cooked through, drain in the sink and set aside.
3.) In the same small skillet as before, add back in the cooked sausage. Add olive oil, cajun seasoning, and minced onion. Bring this to a medium-high heat, and allow this to cook for about five minutes or until the onions are cooked through. Once completed, remove from heat.
4.) In a saucepan, melt some butter. Then add the garlic to that, and cook this on medium heat for two minutes. Stir frequently to make sure the garlic is coated with the butter. To this, whisk in the cream and lemon zest. Again, let this cook for two minutes to allow it to combine the ingredients. To thicken it up, add in some cheese.
5.) Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add in tomatoes and the sausage.
6.) Then add the sausage and sauce to the pasta, and stir until the pasta is coated.