Picture this: a steaming plate of al dente penne adorned with a vibrant medley of tomatoes, olives, capers, and garlic, all harmoniously combined with the savory goodness of chicken sausage. That’s what awaits you in this remarkable recipe for Spicy Penne Puttanesca with Chicken Sausage.
Spicy Penne Puttanesca with Chicken Sausage
- 1 large skillet
- ½ box whole wheat penne pasta
- ½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 4 medium tomatoes (diced)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced or pressed)
- 2 tablespoons paste
- ½ tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 lb ooked and sliced chicken sausage *see note below*
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat for 1-2 minutes. Add cooked sausage, and heat about 3 minutes to brown.
- Add diced tomatoes (along with any juices they may have released), garlic, tomato paste, and red pepper. Bring to a good simmer for 1-2 minutes.
- Reduce heat to medium low, and continue to cook until pasta has finished - the mixture will thicken slightly, due to the tomato paste. If it starts to become too thick, add a spoonfull of the pasta water to thin it out slightly).
- When pasta is ready, drain and add to the skillet. Stir well until pasta is coated with the tomato mixture.
Alternative Method: Instant Pot
If you’re looking to streamline your cooking process and save time, the Instant Pot is an excellent appliance to prepare Spicy Penne Puttanesca with Chicken Sausage. Follow these steps for a flavorful and fuss-free dish:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound chicken sausage, sliced
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives, halved
- 2 tablespoons capers
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (adjust to taste)
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 pound penne pasta
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Fresh basil, chopped, for garnish
- Parmesan cheese, grated, for serving
- Set the Instant Pot to the sauté function and heat the olive oil. Add the chicken sausage slices and cook until browned. Remove the sausage from the pot and set aside.
- In the same pot, add the diced onion and minced garlic. Sauté until the onion becomes translucent and the garlic becomes fragrant.
- Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, Kalamata olives, capers, dried oregano, red pepper flakes, and bay leaf to the pot. Stir well to combine.
- Pour in the chicken broth and give it a good stir. Add the penne pasta to the pot, making sure it is fully submerged in the liquid.
- Secure the lid of the Instant Pot and set the pressure release valve to the sealing position. Cook on high pressure for 4 minutes.
- Once the cooking time is complete, perform a quick pressure release by carefully turning the pressure release valve to the venting position. Be cautious of the hot steam.
- Remove the lid once the pressure is released and give the pasta a gentle stir. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve the Spicy Penne Puttanesca with Chicken Sausage in bowls, garnished with fresh basil and grated Parmesan cheese.
With this alternative method using the Instant Pot, you’ll achieve the same flavorful results in a fraction of the time. Enjoy the convenience and deliciousness of this elevated pasta dish!
To ensure the best results and avoid common mistakes, here are some valuable cooking tips for preparing Spicy Penne Puttanesca with Chicken Sausage:
- Use High-Quality Ingredients: Opt for ripe tomatoes, briny olives, and flavorful capers to enhance the overall taste of the dish. Fresh herbs and good-quality chicken sausage will take it to the next level.
- Properly Cook the Pasta: Cook the penne until it is al dente, firm to the bite. Overcooking can result in a mushy texture. Remember to generously salt the pasta water to infuse it with flavor.
- Balance the Spice: Adjust the amount of red pepper flakes according to your preference. Start with a smaller quantity and gradually add more if you desire an extra kick. It’s easier to add more spice than to reduce it once it’s too hot.
- Allow the Flavors to Marinate: After combining the sauce, sausage, and pasta, let the dish sit for a few minutes off the heat. This allows the flavors to meld together, resulting in a more harmonious and flavorful outcome.
- Finish with Fresh Herbs and Parmesan: Just before serving, sprinkle the dish with freshly chopped herbs, such as basil or parsley, and a generous shaving of Parmesan cheese. This will add a burst of freshness and enhance the overall presentation.
The Best Ways To Serve Spicy Penne Puttanesca with Chicken Sausage
To complement the flavors of Spicy Penne Puttanesca with Chicken Sausage, here are some serving suggestions that will elevate your dining experience:
- Recommend Sides, Garnishes, or Beverages: Serve a crisp green salad tossed with lemon vinaigrette on the side to balance out the richness of the pasta. Garnish each plate with a sprinkle of chopped fresh basil or a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. Pair the dish with a glass of fruity red wine or a refreshing citrus-infused iced tea.
- Suggest Different Ways to Serve: While Spicy Penne Puttanesca with Chicken Sausage shines on its own, you can get creative with the presentation. Consider serving the pasta in individual bowls, topped with a grilled chicken sausage slice and a dollop of ricotta cheese. Alternatively, transform it into a hearty baked casserole by layering the pasta with mozzarella and baking until golden and bubbly.
- Explore Vegetarian Options: If you prefer a vegetarian version, omit the chicken sausage and replace it with grilled vegetables like zucchini, bell peppers, and eggplant. The robust flavors of the sauce will still tantalize your taste buds.
- Brunch Twist: Serve Spicy Penne Puttanesca with Chicken Sausage as a brunch option by topping it with a perfectly poached egg. The runny yolk adds a luxurious touch and creates a delightful fusion of flavors.
- Party Appetizer: Prepare bite-sized portions of the dish by skewering cooked penne, chicken sausage, and cherry tomatoes on toothpicks. Arrange them on a platter for a crowd-pleasing appetizer at your next gathering.
Can I prepare Spicy Penne Puttanesca with Chicken Sausage in advance?
Yes, you can prepare the sauce and cook the pasta in advance. Store them separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, heat the sauce in a pan, add the cooked pasta and chicken sausage, and warm everything together until heated through. This makes it convenient for busy weeknight dinners or entertaining guests.
How long can I store leftovers?
Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Place them in an airtight container to maintain their freshness. When reheating, add a splash of water or broth to prevent the pasta from drying out.
Can I freeze Spicy Penne Puttanesca with Chicken Sausage?
While it is possible to freeze the dish, pasta can lose its texture when thawed. If you plan to freeze it, undercook the pasta slightly before assembling the dish. Thaw it overnight in the refrigerator and reheat gently on the stovetop with a splash of water or sauce.
Can I substitute the chicken sausage with a different protein?
Certainly! You can substitute the chicken sausage with other types of sausage, such as pork or turkey sausage. If you prefer a vegetarian option, consider using plant-based sausage alternatives or grilled tofu for added texture.
How can I make the dish less spicy?
To make the dish less spicy, reduce or omit the red pepper flakes. You can also balance the heat by adding a touch of honey or a splash of cream to the sauce. Taste and adjust the seasonings accordingly until it reaches your desired level of spiciness.
Prepare to tantalize your taste buds with Spicy Penne Puttanesca with Chicken Sausage. Delve into our comprehensive guide featuring cooking tips, serving suggestions, and an alternative method using an Instant Pot. Feast your eyes on the captivating images that showcase the dish’s vibrant flavors. Remember to share the recipe and subscribe to our blog for more culinary inspiration.