This hearty, sausage and mushroom penne is a typical Italian comfort food and an easy variation of simple tomato sauce. The slightly spicy sausage adds bite to the sweet tomato sauce and the mushrooms add texture and an earthy flavour.
I make this particular pasta condiment on a regular basis, usually with additional greens, such as rapini or kale. As always, I try to
sneak in incorporate veggies into my kids’ meals so I improvised this time by adding some fresh button mushrooms instead.
My kids literally devoured this pasta! Considering the fact that they’ve been so anti-veg lately it’s safe to say this recipe was super successful!
about 450 grams penne rigate
3 sausages, preferably seasoned as little as possible
2 cups button mushrooms, finely diced
1-2 garlic cloves, halved or finely minced
2 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 x 24 oz bottle of unseasoned tomato puree
1/2 cup – 1 cup distilled water
1 tsp. oregano
2-3 tbs. fresh parsley, finely minced
salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese, quantity as desired
Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Once boiling, salt generously then add the pasta.
*TIP: Cook the pasta 1-2 minutes less than the package instructions as it will continue to cook in the pan with the sauce.
In the meantime, heat the oil on medium heat in a large saucepan for 1-2 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for another 2 minutes. (If halved, don’t forget to remove before serving!). Squeeze the sausage out of the casing directly into the pan. Saute for about 7 minutes, breaking apart into smaller pieces with a wooden spoon or spatula as it cooks.
Add the mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes or until fork tender then add the tomato puree, oregano, and 1/2 cup of water to the pan. Continue to cook, stirring every few minutes, for 20-25 minutes or until the sauce has thickened (pictured below).
*If the sauce thickens too quickly, add 1/4 cup of water at a time and continue to cook each time until the liquid has evaporated and the sauce has thickened.
When the pasta is ready, drain and add directly into the pan with the tomato sauce. Add the Parmesan and parsley and continue to cook the pasta for another 2 minutes, stirring until so the pasta is fully coated with the sauce.
Serve garnished with more Parmesan, fresh parsley and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.
Store leftovers in the fridge in an air-tight container for 2-3 days.