Italian Sausage with Tomatoes, Pasta and Cream
Italian Sausage with Pasta, Spinach and Butternut Squash Sauce
Italian Sausage Soup

Italian Sausage with Tomatoes, Pasta and Cream 

1 lb. sweet Italian sausage, casings removed, and sausage meat crumbled 

1 28 oz. can Italian-style plum tomatoes, drained and chopped 

½ cup onion, diced 

1 12 oz. package bowtie pasta 

2 Tbsp. olive oil 

½ teas. red pepper flakes 

3 cloves garlic, minced 

1 ½ cups heavy cream 

½ teas. salt 

3 Tbsp. fresh parsley, minced, optional 

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Cook the pasta in the boiling water until the al dente stage, about 8-10 minutes.  Drain pasta and set aside.  Place a large deep skillet over medium heat and heat the olive oil.  Add the sausage and pepper flakes to the oil and cook until the sausage is evenly browned.  Stir in the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is tender.  Stir in the tomatoes, cream and salt.  Reduce heat and simmer for about 8-10 minutes until mixture thickens.  Stir cooked pasta into sauce and heat through.  Sprinkle with parsley, if desired. 

Recipe makes 6 servings 

Italian Sausage with Pasta, Spinach and Butternut Squash Sauce 

11 oz. spicy Italian chicken sausage, casings removed 

1 lb. butternut squash, peeled and diced 

10 oz. penne pasta 

2 cups baby spinach, chopped 

4 sage leaves, sliced thin 

2 Tbsp. shaved Parmesan cheese 

¼ cup shallots, minced 

3 cloves garlic, minced 

1 Tbsp. whipped butter or margarine 

salt and pepper to taste 

Place a large pot of salted water over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.  Add the butternut squash and cook until the squash is soft.  Remove squash with a slotted spoon and place in a blender and blend until smooth.  Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook to the al dente stage following package directions.  Reserve at least 1 cup of the water before draining pasta. 

Spray a large deep skillet with cooking spray and place over medium heat.  Sauté the sausage in the skillet until browned.  Break the meat up with a spoon as it cooks.  Remove cooked sausage from skillet and set aside.  Reduce the heat under the skillet to medium-low and melt the butter or margarine.  Add the shallots and garlic to the skillet and sauté until soft and golden, about 5-9 minutes.  Add the pureed butternut squash to the skillet and season with salt and pepper.  Add a little of the reserved pasta water to the pureed squash to thin out the sauce to your liking.  Add the baby spinach to the skillet and stir in the Parmesan cheese and sage.  Toss in the cooked pasta and sausage and mix until well coated. 

Recipe makes 6 servings 

Italian Sausage Soup 

1 lb. sweet Italian sausage, casings removed 

8 oz. fresh tortellini pasta 

1 cup onion, chopped 

4 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped 

1 cup carrots, thinly sliced 

1 ½ cups sliced zucchini 

3 cloves garlic, minced 

½ Tbsp. fresh basil leaves 

½ teas. dried oregano 

3 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley 

1 8 oz. can tomato sauce 

5 cups beef broth 

½ cup water 

½ cup red wine 

Parmesan cheese for garnish, optional 

Place a 5-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add the sausage to the pot and brown the sausage.  Remove the sausage from the pot and drain the fat from the pot, reserve 1 tablespoon of the drippings in the pot.  Sauté the onion and garlic in the drippings.  Stir in the beef broth, water, wine, tomatoes, carrots, basil, oregano. tomato sauce and cooked sausage.  Bring mixture to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer soup uncovered for 30 minutes.  Stir in zucchini and parsley.  Cover pot and simmer for 30 minutes.  Add the tortellini to the pot during the last 10 minutes.  If desired, sprinkle the soup with Parmesan cheese when serving. 

Recipe makes 8 servings