Grilled Onion an Sausage Pasta With Tomato Sauce
Why this recipe works: We know that grilling over a hot fire does wonders to enhance the flavor of meat in this case, packaged sausage but it also works a similar kind of magic on red onions. When grilled a red onion releases a little bit of sugar. The sugar caramelizes on the onion’s surface, and the onion tastes sweeter as a result. For this recipe, we put grilled onion alongside our smoky grilled sausage to tweak the flavor of this otherwise traditional tomato cream sauce. Any precooked. Smoked sausage such as andouille, linguica, chorizo, or smoked beef sausage will taste good in this recipe, so feel free to experiment. You’ll find these sausages alongside the bacon in the refrigerated section of the grocery store.
Grilled Onion and Sausage Pasta with Tomato Sauce
Ingredients: serve 4
1 red onion, peeled and sliced into ½ inch rounds
2 tablespoons olive oil salt and pepper
12 ounces smoked sausage, split lengthwise
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
½ cup heavy cream
1 pound penne
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
- Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot. Brush onion slices with 1 tablespoon oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill onion and sausage over hot fire until lightly charred, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat remaining oil in large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in diced tomatoes and ¼ teaspoon salt and cook until tomatoes begin to break down, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in cream and continue to cook until sauce is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, add penne and 1 tablespoon salt to boiling water and cook until all dente. Reserve ½ cup cooking water, drain penne, and return penne to pot. Stir in sauce mixture and basil, adding reserved cooking water as needed. Roughly chop onions and sausage and add to pot along with any accumulated juices. Season with salt and pepper. Serve.
Smart shopping penne
In the past, domestic brands of dried pasta have repeatedly won top honors with our testers, but now that more specialty brands and Italian imports have hit store shelves, we decided to give fancy pasta another taste. We tried eight brands, with some of the pricier entrants costing as much as $5 per pound. Tasters liked three of the Italian offerings, but top honors stayed right here at home with an American brand triumphing. Mueller’s Penne Rigate was the favorite, with tasters calling it “hearty” and “wheaty.” The bottom line: Money may buy you fancy packaging, but it doesn’t buy you better pasta. Pricey Italian imports aren’t worth the cost or the trip to the specialty store.