I have a bit of an unhealthy obsession with Italian food. Yes, I probably have a love affair with really good pasta dishes and everything Italian sans the wine. The husband seems to be in the same dilemma.
Among my all-time favorite pasta dish is Penne Campagnola. The Italian sausage and sun-dried tomatoes on this pasta dish gives it a rich flavor and makes for a very hearty meal. I suggest you don’t substitute it with other sausages. Don’t take my word for it, you have to try making it yourself. Let me share with you my recipe. This is my take on Penne Campagnola.
You will need:
- 3 – 4 cloves garlic roughly chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1-2 sun-dried tomatoes (optional. Some find it’s taste too overpowering. I think it adds flavor to this dish)
- green bell pepper, roughly chopped
- eggplant, chopped (same size as peppers)
- 1 zucchini, chopped (same as eggplant)
- 1 carrot, chopped (same as other vegetables)
- button mushrooms sliced thinly or chopped
- 1 Italian sausage, casings removed and broken apart
- about 125 grams penne pasta cooked according to package instructions
- black olives (optional)
- mozzarella cheese
- parmesan cheese
- fresh basil leaves
- 3 whole peeled tomatoes
In a large pan, break up the Italian sausage and sauté for a few minutes. This was a lazy day for me so notice that my sausages were sliced in half. Lazy woman did not bother breaking them up or removing some of the casings.
Add the onions and let it sweat. I add a pinch of salt to do that trick. Saute the other vegetables (just for a few minutes). I season the vegetables with a bit of freshly milled pepper at this stage.
Pour the whole peeled tomatoes. I use Italian whole peeled tomatoes. Add about half a cup of chicken or beef stock. Whatever is available. Add a bit of white wine (the kind that you like to drink. If-you-can-drink-it-then-you-can-cook-with-it kind of wine :)) and simmer for 15 minutes.
Before turning off the heat and adding the penne, I usually add about 3-4 tablespoons of pasta water (the water where you cooked your pasta) and a drizzle of olive oil.
Top with fresh basil, parmesan and mozzarella cheese. Bake it in the oven for a few minutes.
Try it and let me know what you think.