I can’t believe I haven’t posted this recipe already!
I picked up the recipe from Rachel Ray years ago when we lived in our apartment and we’ve been eating it regularly ever since! Although I have to say I’ve modified her version quite a bit….less meat, no broth, no cream.
It makes it lighter and easier if you ask me.
The best thing about this meal is that it comes together SO FAST and tastes kind of fancy even though it’s really basic. This is perfect for a weeknight meal, but would also be great served to company with a nice salad and some bread. Even if you don’t like peas, you should try this dish as is I’ve had many a “pea hater” gobble it up without any issues :)
Quick & Easy Peasant Pasta
adapted from Rachel Ray’s original recipe
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ pound hot or sweet Turkey Italian sausage, (about 2-3 links, casings removed)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes (not diced!)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 cup frozen green peas
- small bunch fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced (the small pack from the grocery herb section is perfect)
- 1 pound penne rigate pasta, cooked to al dente (I generally set the water to boil as soon as I start making this dish. It comes together so fast that your pasta should be ready right about the time your sauce is!)
- Grated Italian cheese, for passing (I use “green can” parmesan and it’s just fine)
- Heat a large, deep skillet over medium high heat. Add extra-virgin olive oil and let it heat till it’s just starting to become fragrant (about 2 minutes).
- Remove casings from the turkey Italian sausage (I just run a sharp serrated knife – like a steak knife – from top to bottom along one side of the sausage link and then peel back the casing and drop the “innards” into the pan). Add all sausage “insides” to the pan and crumble them up as they brown.
- Add minced garlic to the pan. You could finely chop your garlic, but I just use my garlic press to get a nice, fine mince.
- When all of the crumbles have browned evenly, stir in the crushed tomatoes and bring the sauce up to a bubble, then reduce the heat to a simmer.
- Season with salt and pepper. (because I’m a salt freak I usually just add some pepper)
- Stir frozen peas and basil into your sauce and simmer for about 5 minutes until the peas are heated through.
- Toss hot drained penne rigate in pan with the sauce, then transfer pasta to serving bowl.
- Top with cheese and enjoy!