Monday, March 24, 2008

30-Minute Meal

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.

Peasant Pasta
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.


  1. Living in the UK we don't get RR on the telly, so I wouldn't know how annoying she is, but I've tried a few of her recipes and have always liked the results. I agree the the Garbage Bowl is so completely unnecessary, another way to waste your money. I love pasta and your dish looks really yummy.

  2. Yum, this looks amazing. A friend had recommended this dish to me as well- I think I will absolutely be making this VERY soon.

  3. Hey Jaime! I love pasta and this one looks incredible! Bookmarked!!!!

  4. Sounds good to me Jamie! I agree with you, a garbage bowl? No thanks, I get an old grocery bag and stick it on the counter with me. Much more practical!!

  5. I know what you mean about the garbage bowl... any old bowl will work, no need to buy a new one just for that purpose.

    This recipe sounds great! I've made quite a few of her recipes, and for the most part we've enjoyed them. I'll be marking this one to try! Great picture, too!

  6. Oooo...this looks good! I'm with you, I can't take "Rach" on 30 Minute Meals...the weird thing is, I don't mind her on her hour long daytime talk show. Very strange. Try her "French Onion No-Soup" sometime; it's a winner, too.

  7. Although I don't like Rachel Ray either, your pictures looks really tasty. The garbage bowl makes me laugh. It's too bad there are such a lack of bowls in North American households today.

  8. This sounds ubber delicious! :) Love the 30 minute meals!

  9. That pasta does sound tasty. Italian sausage is a great way to add lots of flavour to pastas and other dishes.

  10. this looks absolutely mouth watering!

  11. I like any meal that is made within 30 minutes... this sounds (and looks) tasty!

  12. I used to find Rachel Ray annoying but now I actually love her show. I love seeing what she can do in half an hour! I completely agree with you on the garbage bowl though - and not only that but it's really ugly!

  13. We don't get RR on TV either, but I've seen some of her videos and god she is so overbearing! The idea of having to buy a garbage bowl is atrocious.

  14. I agree all the way around - the recipe looks really interesting. As soon as I hear RR's voice - it grates like fingernails on a chalkboard - I have to turn the channel.

  15. I admit that I am a RR lover. I agree that she can get annoying, and my husband won't let me watch her if he is home, but I love her recipes. I make recipes from her probably weekly, and I think I've only had one that didn't turn out great. This one sounds delicious!

  16. My hubby loves to watch her show now. Ever since he found something on the web talking about the things she says that can be taken the wrong way.
    (Latest example "I just love to pound it out")

    I get a report every time he hears one. Try it - it changes the show completely. LOL

    Oh, and what originally made me comment - that recipe looks killer!

  17. LOL I love it...I am one of those people who just cannot stand her shows, ANY of them, but have a few of her recipes..She is from around where I live too, so I am of the few who actually don't like her LOL, but this made me laugh!! I LOVE your blog, by the way!!