Weeknight Shorts: Sun-dried Pasta Bowl

Pasta dishes can be so handy because, if you choose the right toppings and sauces, you can have them made in little more time than it takes to prepare the noodles. This is one such dish that's absolutely bursting with amazing flavor because it stars one of my favorite ingredients of all time - sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil:

Every decadent bite brings you the combination of crumbled Italian sausage, tangy sun-dried tomatoes, tender pieces of pasta, creamy cheese, and an oil-based sauce brimming with Italian herbs. Your mouth will be smiling! Now, you could tweak this dish in any number of ways - from using a different kind of sausage (or none at all) to adding onions or peppers or zucchini. But I'm a bit of purist on this one. The combination described below is the stuff of dreams. Trust me.

If you want a side salad or a bit of crusty bread to serve with this dish, feel free to put those out on the table. For me, the meal is complete with I pour a glass of chilled wine, scoop a serving or two into my favorite bowl, and sit down to savor it all for a bit. It's a busy month and Mother's Day just happened. This meal is my own personal celebration.

Pasta with Sausage & Sun-dried Tomatoes

  • 16 oz. penne pasta (or another short pasta variety)
  • 8 oz. Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 2 oz. sun-dried tomatoes in oil, coarsely chopped (oil reserved)
  • 1/3 c. freshly shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp. Italian herbs
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Prepare the pasta according to the package directions. Drain well after it's cooked.

While the pasta is cooking, brown the sausage in a medium skillet. During the last minute of cooking, add the chopped sun-dried tomatoes and stir to combine. Toss the drained pasta with the sausage and tomatoes. Drizzle in enough of the reserved tomato oil to coat the pasta evenly. Add the cheese and seasonings and toss well. Serve immediately.

  • Yields: 4-6 servings
  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes

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