Italian Sausage & Tomato with Penne

DSC01996Weeknights are busy at our house.  We don’t always get the time to cook from scratch even though it’s my preference to do so.  So we take shortcuts…that means instead of using home made meatballs i squeeze the meat out from Italian sausages from a good vendor (San Marino Meats, Central Markets) and use boutique bottled tomato sauce (Lucia’s Neopolitan sauce).

This recipe is a weekday staple in our home; it fills all the weekday criteria: quick, yummy, easy, nutritious!

Squeeze out the sausage meat from the casing; form into small meatballs.  I always end up cutting my meatballs down to smaller sizes half way through cooking. 

meatball sausage_watermark

 I always add a bunch of small vine ripened baby tomatoes or two or three larger vine ripened tomatoes.  Don’t bother to blanch and peel them…this is a weeknight recipe…I’ve usually got work to do after dinner so let’s get cracking!

Meanwhile: get the water boiling for the penne pasta; hurry up we don’t have all night 😛

chopped tomato_watermark

Keep frying on a hot heat until the tomatoes break down. 

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 Here’s the cheat part…i add a bottle of Lucia’s Neopolitan Sauce (used to be called Lucia’s Quick Sauce).  If i’ve had time over summer i will bottle my own tomato sauce; but this year i didn’t get the time 😥  so no homemade sauce.  The good part is that Lucia’s sauce is a boutique sauce and is as good as if not better than anything i could make myself.  I don’t ever advocate those big brand sauces you see on supermarket shelves…YUK is all i will say!

tomato sauce_1_watermark

 Turn the heat down and simmer

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Is your mouth watering yet?

Drain the pasta when al dente.  Throw it back in the hot pot you used for cooking it and put the lid on

drained penne_watermark

 Turn off the heat of the sauce and mix it into the pasta in the pasta boiling pot.

Add fresh basil! I’m not a tablespoon kinda gal when it comes to fresh basil…i use the whole bunch!

chopped basil_watermark

This marinated goats cheese is made in SA…if you can find a similar product made local to you; please use it and support local cheese artisans! 

goats milk fetta above_watermark

 

Doesn’t this stuff look amazing??? 

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Take out a couple of cubes and drain them well!  Although, i don’t mind a little extra oil because the oil from the marinated cheese is bloody good stuff.  When the bottle is empty of cheese, do not throw the oil away….use it for cooking because the flavours are amazing and very complimentary to tomato dishes!

 goats cheese fetta cubes in bowl_watermark

 

Mash the cubes up really well and mix through the pasta, sauce and sausage mixture.  It will melt and make the sauce all creamy

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Season with cracked pepper; taste and if salt is needed use freshly ground sea salt.

Serve immediately.

Enjoy!

If you think you’d like to try out… here’s the pdf

Italian Sausage Meatballs on Foodista

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