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! 😂💁🏼♀️
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
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.