Peasant Pasta is another Rachael Ray keeper recipe.  It’s comfort food at it’s finest, penne, sausage, peas, a tomato cream sauce, what’s not to love?  I actually didn’t love this dish when I first had it, I think at that time sausage was for breakfast only, and something my dad would eat before going in to Fenway (piled high with peppers and onions, of course).

My mom had found this recipe, and I’m not exactly sure where.  All I know is that at the time, I wasn’t really having it.  And then, like with many other dishes (still no berries though), I came to my senses.  And made this, a lot.  It’s a fan favorite, and can feed a ton of people.  My only complaint is that it’s not nearly as good the second day, as is the case with a lot of sauces with cream, so I gorge myself the first night, and then immediately regret it.  It’s just so darn good that I want to eat as much as possible!

I also don’t make this as much as I might like to, mainly because it’s not really good FOR you, just so darn good to eat.  You won’t see a healthy or light tag with this baby.  I have made it with whole wheat penne, which is great, and once I tried half and half instead of cream, but you really need the cream.  Half and half won’t cut it with this bad boy.

You just have to resign yourself to the fact that you’re eating stick to your ribs comfort food, and there’s always the gym…tomorrow.

Peasant Pasta

1 lb. sweet italian sausage
1/2 lb. hot italian sausage
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 to 1/2 cup low sodium chicken stock
28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 small package frozen peas
1/2 cup heavy cream
fresh basil, chopped or torn
1 lb. penne
salt and pepper to taste

Boil water and prepare pasta according to instructions on box.

Heat a large saucepan over mediumish heat, and crumble sausage into pan.  Sometimes you can find ground sausage already out of the casing…and sometimes you have to take it out of the casing.  Brown sausage, and once it is close to being fully browned, add in garlic and cook for a few minutes more.

Add in chicken stock, mainly to deglaze the pan, so feel free to use a little, or more, depending on how much sauce you want (the tomatoes really make the sauce, the chicken stock just adds to it).  Cook for a few minutes, and then add in tomatoes.

Let tomatoes come to a simmer, and then let simmer for about 10 minutes or so.  Season with salt and pepper at this point.  Sometimes my pasta takes forever, so I kind of let things hang out at this point until the pasta is ready.

Add in cream and turn off heat.  Add peas and basil (you can use as much or as little basil as you like, I happen to love basil, so I use a few tablespoons at least), and pour in pasta (sometimes I have to put the pasta back in it’s pot, after draining, and then pour the sauce over that and mix, because my saucepan is just not large enough).

Stir everything together, and enjoy!

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