Now I have to agree with the vast majority of people who think that Rachael Ray is uber annoying. I can't stand her cooking show. I can't believe her garbage bowl is a big seller, either. C'mon now. The concept of putting all your trash in one place while you're cooking so you don't make a mess of the whole kitchen is a good idea, but why on earth would you need a special bowl for that purpose? I've got a million bowls in my kitchen that I could easily use as a "garbage bowl." (I hope that those who own this don't take offense.)
While I can't stand Rachael Ray, I have to admit that I actually like some of her food. I have no problem with her recipes, I just can't watch her cook them. So when I came across this Rachael Ray recipe, I knew I wanted to try it. Tomato and basil are just about my two favorite ingredients in Italian cooking, and then add tomato cream sauce on top with some spicy sausage? Sounded like a winner to me.
This meal came together in - no surprise - under thirty minutes, perfect for that weeknight dinner you want to throw together (though I've made some of her recipes before that definitely were not "30-minute meals"). We love spicy food, so I used all hot Italian sausage instead of the sweet and spicy combination that Rachael suggests. If you like things milder, I would stick with Rachael's recommendations, or use all sweet Italian sausage. This is definitely something I will making again.
from Rachael Ray
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan
1/2 pound hot Italian sausage, available in bulk at butcher counter or, 2 links, casings removed (I used 1-1/2 pounds of hot Italian sausage)
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, available in bulk at butcher counter or, 4 links, casings removed (I omitted these)
3 to 4 cloves garlic, chopped, optional (I added some garlic and shallots)
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth (I have also used white wine when I don't have any broth on hand)
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper (I only used pepper; the sausage is salty enough)
1 cup frozen green peas (I omitted these)
24 leaves fresh basil, torn or thinly sliced
1 pound penne rigate pasta, cooked to al dente (I used farfalle pasta)
Grated Italian cheese, for passing
Heat a large, deep skillet over medium high heat. Add extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan.
Add sausage meat. Crumble sausage meat as it browns. Add chopped garlic to the pan. When all of the crumbles have browned evenly, deglaze the pan drippings using chicken or vegetable broth.
Stir in crushed tomatoes and bring the sauce up to a bubble, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Stir cream into your sauce, this will blush the color and cut the acidity of the tomatoes.
Season with salt and pepper. Stir peas and basil into your sauce to combine. Toss hot drained penne rigate in pan with the sauce, then transfer pasta to serving bowl.
Yield: 6 Servings.