Penne with Smoked Sausage and Caramelized Onions – I love the nights where I have no idea what to make for dinner so I start to clean out my fridge. I inevitably always find something that will at least make me temporarily loose my appetite, but when I realize what I actually have hidden behind forgotten cups of milk and unwrapped, dried-out peanut butter sandwiches that a certain 4 year old decided she wanted to “save”, I usually come up with something pretty amazing. That’s out this penne with smoked sausage came about.
How to Make Penne with Smoked Sausage and Caramelized Onions
Any type of smoked sausage will work for this Penne with Smoked Sausage and Caramelized Onions recipe. I used a super basic pork smoked sausage here but chicken, beef or turkey would fit in well too. If you do decide to use a leaner sausage like turkey or chicken, you’ll have to add a tablespoon or two of olive oil to get the sausage to brown well and caramelize the onions in.
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It took about 15 minutes for them to get to this point.
Once the onions are ready to go, stir the sausage, a can of diced tomatoes and a bit of oregano into the pan. Bring it to a simmer to heat the sausage and tomatoes up.
Parmesan cheese makes everything better so stir some into the finished pasta and top it off with more to serve. The penne soaks up some of the juices for the tomatoes and you’re left with a super light, flavorful sauce with pieces of sweet onion and salty sausage. It’s pretty great.
- 12 oz. smoked sausage sliced
- 8 oz dry penne pasta
- 1, 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 medium onion sliced
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 C parmesan cheese shredded
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- In a large skillet brown sliced sausage until caramelized. Remove from skillet and set aside, leaving the drippings from the sausage in the pan.
- Lower heat to medium-low and place onions and salt in sausage drippings. Cook onion, stirring often, until very soft and well caramelized-- about 15 minutes.
- Boil pasta according to packaged directions and drain, reserving ½ C of the starchy cooking water.
- Add sausage to the onions as well as the tomatoes and oregano. Bring to a simmer and stir in pasta and parmesan cheese, adding a bit of the cooking water if necessary to loosen it up. Serve with additional parmesan cheese and chopped fresh basil if desired.
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