Post by: Holly – Hodgson Mill Blogger
It’s good to have a few aces up your sleeve when it comes to cooking meals for company. This bow tie pasta with sausage, tomatoes and cream is one of mine. It’s a quick and easy crowd pleaser that makes a lot and tastes great. Everyone I fix this pasta for loves it – a fact that always humors me because it takes minutes to prepare and uses basic ingredients. It’s hard to believe such everyday kitchen staples can turn into a fabulous dish, but they do, without fail, every time. If you know any Italian grandmothers they’ll tell you it’s true.
Quality becomes important when preparing a simple pasta recipe like this, so splurge a little and buy high-end canned tomatoes and sausage if you can. Using Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Bow Tie Pasta is another way to incorporate quality into this dish and is healthier for you than regular white flour pastas. My children are not always fans of whole wheat pasta, but Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Bow Tie Pasta has a mild taste and pretty much goes unnoticed whenever I serve it. Also, once the noodles are covered in this delicious sauce they becomes so tasty that no one stops to notice the whole grains I’ve snuck onto their plates.
Begin by bringing a large pot of water to a boil and cook the bow ties according to the directions on the box. You want them to be tender but still firm – al dente, as the Italian grandmothers say. Strain the noodles, but reserve one cup of the cooking water in the process. Set the noodles and the cup of water aside.
Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the sausage and red pepper flakes. *Side Note* It’s possible to use sweet Italian turkey sausage, but I prefer regular Italian seasoned pork sausage. This recipe makes a large quantity of food, so although it may seem like the sauce ingredients are indulgent, they cover an entire pound of heart healthy Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Bow Tie Pasta. In the end, each serving will only have a little bit of sauce on top of a big plate of pasta, so I tend to let flavor lead the way in this case.
My family doesn’t like spicy foods, but a pinch of red pepper flakes gives the dish a subtle heat that compliments the flavors really well. Sauté the sausage until it’s no longer pink. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until the onion is tender and the sausage is browned – about four minutes.
Next add the crushed tomatoes and cream. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the sausage mixture thickens slightly – about five minutes. (Add two teaspoons of dried basil if necessary – see note below).
Lovely, lovely, lovely! The sauce is ready. Expect people to start wandering into the kitchen about now. The smell is amazing.
Add the cooked Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Bow Tie Pasta to the sausage mixture and stir it together over low heat until all of the noodles are coated with sauce. Add a little of the reserved cooking water at a time if the mixture is dry. I usually end up adding about a third of a cup.
Transfer the pasta to a large serving dish and sprinkle the top of it with chopped fresh basil. If you don’t have access to fresh basil, just add a couple of teaspoons of dried basil to the mixture when you add the tomatoes and cream. Serve the pasta immediately, passing grated Romano or Parmesan cheese separately. Time to dig in!
A delicious dinner is on the table and people are happily eating a meal that took just minutes to prepare and used simple, but flavorful ingredients. Whole grains are also on everyone’s plates, whether they know it or not, and that’s something to feel good about, too. Enjoy!
Bow Tie Pasta with Sausage, Tomatoes and Cream
Adapted from Bon Appetit on Epicurious.com
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound sweet Italian sausages (pork or turkey), casings removed
- ½ teaspoon dried, crushed red pepper (I just use a pinch)
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes with added puree (I use Muir Glenn)
- ½ cup whipping cream
- 1 pound Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Bow Tie Pasta
- ½ cup (packed) chopped fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried
- Freshly grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the bow tie pasta according to the directions on the box, stopping when the noodles are tender, but still firm to the bite a.k.a. al dente. Strain the pasta and save one cup of the cooking water for later use. Set aside the cooked pasta and cup of water.
Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and sauté until the sausage is no longer pink, breaking it up as you go. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until the onion is soft and the sausage is completely browned- about four minutes. Add the tomatoes and cream (and dried basil if necessary). Reduce the heat to low and simmer until it becomes slightly thickened – about five minutes. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
Add the pasta to the sausage mixture in the skillet and stir together until all of the noodles are coated in the sauce. Add a little of the reserved cooking water at a time if the mixture seems dry. Transfer the pasta to a large serving dish and sprinkle with basil on top. Serve immediately with grated Romano or Parmesan cheese separately.