Smoked Sun Dried Tomato, Sausage and Baby Broccoli Penne

It was a slow weekend on Mendenhall Street. We had a puppy visitor, Jake, that kept things interesting and me on my toes! It was a nice time to recharge and clean up for the week ahead. It feels great to have clean floors and Spring tulips on my dining room table. Isn’t it amazing how such small things can make you feel so good?

Saturday morning, I picked up a couple treats at the Farmer’s Market to make a nice dinner on Saturday night. If you haven’t done this before, I highly recommend challenging yourself to go to the market without any idea of what you want to cook. Find one thing that interests you and start from there. I fell in love with the tender baby broccoli at Mindenhall Farms. It looked like (the sometimes bitter) broccoli rabe but was sweet and tender. It paired really well with Massey Creek Farm Sweet Italian Sausage, Smoked Sun Dried Tomatoes and pasta.

I made this dish up but used inspiration from a very similar dish my Dad used to make at home. The trick to this dish is finishing the pasta cooking with the sun dried tomatoes and garlic in chicken broth! This makes enough for 4 people – but I’ll be eating it for dinner throughout the week!

Here’s to a rested – and clean – start of the week!

Smoked Sun Dried Tomato, Sausage and Baby Broccoli Penne

  • 1 pound, penne pasta
  • 1 pound, Massey Creek Farm Sweet Italian Sausage
  • 1 bag, Mindenhall Farm Baby Broccoli
  • 2 ounces, Smoked Sun Dried Tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced thin
  • 1 can chicken broth
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • crush red pepper flakes
  • fresh basil, torn
  • pecorino romano, shredded

In a large saute pan over medium heat, cook sausages in a tiny amount of olive oil (to prevent from sticking). Cook until browned on each side.  Remove from the pan and add a tablespoon of olive oil.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta until undercooked or with a nice bite to it (you’ll finish the cooking in the chicken broth!).

Add the baby broccoli and saute until bright green and tender. Season with salt and red pepper flakes – to taste! Remove the broccoli and set aside (if you are using broccoli florets you can leave them in the pan – the trick is to not over cook the veggie). Add the garlic and sun dried tomatoes. Saute until fragrant and then add chicken broth to deglaze the pan. Add the undercooked pasta and stir together. Slice the sausage and add it to the pasta – then add the broccoli. Cook until pasta finishes – about 3 or 5 minutes. At this point, taste the pasta – you may want to add a touch more salt.

Serve in a big pasta bowl with torn basil and shredded pecorino romano cheese on top!

 

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