Penne Pasta Dinner – Funny enough, this meal was actually inspired by a lean cuisine meal – seriously! Back when Chris and I were working our butts off, holding down full time day jobs and taking classes during nights, trying to get ourselves through college, I would stock our freezer with tons of lean cuisines for quick meals whenever we could grab them. It wasn’t the best, but better than fast food or top ramen and/Mac and cheese! 🤷🏼‍♀️Lol! My favorite one was a Penne Pasta dinner. It was dressed in a light sauce with chicken and some veggies. Thank goodness my cooking has come a long way from those microwaveable meals! 😂💁🏼‍♀️

Sauce Ingredients:

2 Tbsp EVOO

2 Tbsp butter

1/2 onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbsp tomato paste

1 can crushed tomatoes (28 oz)

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1/2 tsp basil

1 Bay leaf

1 c water

Salt & Pepper, to taste

Other ingredients:

1 lb package pasta – any type you like

1 package Al Fresco Roasted Pepper & Asiago Chicken Sausage

1 Tbsp butter

1 Tbsp EVOO

1 zucchini, chopped

1 yellow squash, chopped

1. In a deep sauté pan, heat at the EVOO and butter on med/high heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook until tender (approx 3-5 min).

2. Add in tomato paste; stir well. Add crushed tomatoes, seasonings and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer for about 30 min. stirring about every 5 min or so. Add salt and pepper, as needed.

3. While sauce is cooking: Boil your water and cook your pasta. Set aside.

4. In a sauté pan: Add your sausage and cook to warm; about 5-7 min. I like them to get some good color on them. Set them aside.

5. In the same sauté pan used for sausage: Heat 1 Tbsp butter and 1 Tbsp EVOO. Add zucchini and squash. Season well with salt and pepper and cook until softened (about 5-7 min). Turn off heat.

6. Slice your sausage and toss in with the zucchini and squash.

7. Serve pasta topped with sauce and sausage/veggies garnished with some grated cheese.

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