Saturday, November 30, 2013

Pasta with Sausages, Cream and Tomato

From Peg Cochran

Looks like we've got an Italian theme going here--Sheila's minestrone yesterday and a pasta dish from me today!  If you've had your fill of turkey/mashed potatoes/stuffing, a pasta dish is a delicious palate cleanser!

This recipe is from Marcella Hazan's "Marcella's Italian Kitchen."  I used this cookbook so many times that it fell apart.  I was lucky enough to find a pristine replacement at a library book sale for very little money.  Come to think of it, most of my beloved cookbooks are falling apart--The Joy of Cooking, Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, a volume by James Beard, two New York Times Cookbooks...funny but all my "diet" cookbooks seems to be in admirable shape!

I've adapted this recipe slightly to make a little more sauce (I know from experience that Italians eat their pasta with less sauce than Americans.  A lot of people would have found my grandmother's lasagna "dry," but we thought it was perfect.)  I've also used less cream--just enough to turn the sauce pink and give it the right consistency.  Also, the dish calls for "ruote di carro" or wagon wheel shaped pasta.  Now that I live in the land where pasta and tomato sauce are shelved in the "international foods" section of the grocery store, I can't easily come by that shape.  I've found farfalle to be a perfect substitute.

1/2 pound breakfast or other mild sausage (NOT maple flavored)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or less)
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes (original recipe calls for 2/3 cup of whole tomatoes)
1/2 cup of heavy cream
salt & pepper
2 tablespoons chopped parsley (I find this optional but a nice touch)
1 pound cartwheels or farfalle or shape of your choice
Freshly grated parmesa

Slice the sausages into 1/4 thick rounds.  Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the garlic.  When the garlic is a pale gold, saute the sausages until nicely browned on all sides.  Add the tomatoes, stir, and cook at a simmer for 20 minutes (15 will do if you're in a hurry.)

Add the cream (up to half a cup) and stir, simmering for several minutes to heat.  Add salt, pepper and off heat stir in the parsley.

Serve over pasta with plenty of freshly grated parmesan.

Buon Appetito!

Use farfalle or whatever shape you prefer

Slice sausages into small rounds

Saute until golden brown

Add tomatoes

Add cream

Buon Appetito!

 This is a meal that my character, Lucille Mazzarella, might serve her family for Sunday dinner.  Follow the adventures of Flo and Lucille in CONFESSION IS MURDER out now for all e-book readers from Beyond the Page Publishing.

 Join me on Facebook or visit my website or at @pegcochran

 Out now in my Gourmet De-Lite series:  Allergic to Death and Steamed to Death.  Coming in March 2014:  ICED TO DEATH

Coming March 2014


  1. Looks lovely, Peg. Definitely in the mood for new flavors (pasta, sausage, yum!) though I've got leftover dinner planned for tomorrow night! More yum!

    Daryl / Avery

  2. I have been making this recipe for years from Marcella's cookbook. it is one of our favorites.

  3. Round pasta with round sausage sounds like a great combination visually. And the whole thing is so wonderfully simple.

  4. Susan, it is delicious, isn't it? Libby--it's great if you can find the cartwheels. I used to be able to get them in NJ and I once shipped an entire carton full of them to my sister in Texas!

    1. NJ is too backwoods now for wagon wheels? How disappointing.
      Or is it that you are no longer in NJ?

  5. I don't eat pasta very often, but when I do, this is just the sort of dish I like. Love pasta that's al dente and has some thickness to it. This would be wonderful by the fire on a cold winter night. Hmm, I do have some sausage . . .

  6. Thank you so much for this delicious pasta dish. I'm all for creaming tomato sauce, and mild sausage is the way to go (so many New Yorkers prefer hot you have to be careful!). There's some sausage in the freezer right now, and I think it will be thawing soon. I know just where to pick up farfalle, too..

    ~ Cleo