Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Dressed up dinner

Bow tie pasta always struck me as a very confused pasta.  One the one hand, it's fun shape is a far cry from penne and spaghetti.  Which makes it an easy choice for children.  On the other hand, bow-ties usually signify a fancy event, like a wedding or ball.

Since we're grown-ups (most of the time) I'm going to lean more towards the "bow-ties" for black-tie.  This is definitely a grown-up dinner.  If you have kids - don't share it with them.  As my mom always said "There has to be some advantage to getting older"  and meals like this fall under "advantages."

Of course you could share this with your children.  There's nothing in it that isn't kid-friendly.  But really, is this something you want to share?  Like Dove ice cream bars.  When I was little, my parents would have these in the freezer sometimes.  And they were "grown up" ice cream.  There was no question that Thatbrother and I weren't going to be indulging.  And there was always something magical about those ice cream bars.  Because they were off limits.

And this pasta dish?  Totally magical.  The center fold of the bow ties holds the bits of tomato, sausage, and cream.  The sausage, left over from last week's chili, adds the perfect amount of spice.  And for those of us mourning summer tomatoes, canned plum tomatoes are possibly the next best thing.  

A small word of caution.  This recipe feeds more than 2.  Or to rephrase, it feeds 2, for several days.  Which was nice because on the last day there were forks drawn over who would have the last serving for lunch.

Bow Ties with Sausage, Tomatoes and Cream
Modified from as seen on A Taste of Home Cooking

1-lb package bow tie pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound spicy Italian sausage, casings removed and crumbled
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional if you want more heat)
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28 ounce) can Italian-style plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving some of the pasta water.
  2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Brown sausage. 
  3. Add red pepper flakes, onion and garlic, and cook until onion is translucent.
  4. Stir in tomatoes, cream, and salt. Simmer until mixture thickens, 8 to 10 minutes.
  5. Stir cooked pasta into sauce, and heat through. Add in pasta water until it reaches the consistency you desire.   Sprinkle with chopped parsley.


  1. Sausage, tomatoes and cream sound like my kind of pasta dish.

  2. I've made this several times at my mom's house for holiday meals and everyone LOVES it. It's also SOOOOO so good when reheated for leftovers. I don't know if we use a lot of liquid otherwise, but we typically don't use the pasta water and it comes out just fine.

  3. I don't know if my parents ever had anything that was off limit to us...maybe this coffee-flavored soda that my mom used to drink. I can definitely see why this should be a grown-ups only food! Fancy and delicious.

  4. This is a meal in a dish and it sounds terrific, like it belongs on my table.