I love pasta. My husband loves pasta. When it comes time to figure out dinner, a typical conversation is as follows:
I ask, “What do you feel like for dinner?”
He responds, “Um, pasta.”
“What kind of pasta? “
“Pasta with meat.”
Never anything specific, he just wants meat and pasta. But at least we both love it, so we have a very high carb intake. This pasta is one of our favorites. It comes together pretty quickly and has a lot of different components that blend together to make a delicious meal. The mild sweetness of the tomatoes mixes perfectly with the saltiness of the sausage and the nuttiness of the artichokes and Parmesan. I use whole wheat pasta because it really holds its own among the other ingredients, but regular pasta would work just as well.
Penne with Sausage, Artichokes, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
¾ cup drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, sliced, 2 tablespoons of oil reserved
1 pound ground italian hot sausage
2 (13.75 ounce) cans artichoke hearts, drained
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1¾ cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
½ cup dry white wine
13.25 ounces whole wheat penne
½ cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
⅓ cup chopped fresh basil
¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, drained and cubed
Heat the oil reserved from the sun-dried tomatoes in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook until brown, breaking up the meat into bite-sized pieces, about 8 minutes. Transfer the sausage to a bowl, reserving the oils in the pan. Add the artichoke hearts and garlic to the skillet and saute over medium heat until the garlic is tender, about 2 minutes. Add the broth, wine, and sun-dried tomatoes. Boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce reduces slightly, about 8 minutes, then remove from heat.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Stir often to prevent the pasta from sticking together, until tender but firm to the bite. Drain the pasta, but do not rinse. Add the pasta, sausage, Parmesan cheese, basil, and parsley to the artichoke mixture. Toss until most of the sauce has been absorbed by the pasta. Stir in the mozzarella. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then serve.
Source: Slightly adapted from Giada’s Family Dinners