pasta la vista, baby. [sun-dried tomato pasta w. sausage & asparagus]
When I’ve had a really long work day, there’s nothing I want more than a quick, easy and delicious dinner. And if carbs are involved, that’s a bonus. This creamy sun-dried tomato pasta his all the marks and makes enough for a whole family. Even though I was only cooking this dish for me and my husband, I wasn’t complaining because I was able to devour the leftovers for a couple days. :-)
sun-dried tomato pasta w. sausage & asparagus
- 12 oz. bow tie pasta
- 8 oz. pork sausage links
- 4 Tbsp. sun-dried tomato oil
- ½ cup yellow onion, finely diced
- 2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tsp. salt, plus more to taste
- ½ tsp. black pepper, plus more to taste
- ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes, plus more to taste
- 1 cup (8 oz.) sun-dried tomatoes, julienne style, roughly chopped
- 2½ cups asparagus, woody ends removed, cut into 2-inch pieces
- Parmesan cheese, for garnish
- Heat a large pot of salted water over high heat and bring to a boil.
- While waiting for the pasta water to boil, heat a large skillet over medium heat, then add the sausage links. Cook the sausage, breaking up into small pieces, until done. Once cooked through, using a slotted spoon, transfer the crumbled sausage to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside. Pour out any remaining oil in the skillet.
- Pour the pasta into the boiling water and cook until al dente or desired doneness. Reserve 1½ cups pasta water, then strain the pasta and set aside.
- Using the same skillet as the sausage, heat over medium heat then add the sun-dried tomato oil. Add the onion and saute until translucent and aromatic, 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook an additional 30 seconds, stirring everything together.
- Next, add the tomato paste and cook, stirring occasionally, until the paste is brick red and starts to caramelize, about 5 minutes.
- Reduce heat to low, then add the heavy whipping cream and mix everything together. Season with salt, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes. Simmer sauce 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, and season with additional salt and pepper if needed.
- While the sauce is simmering, bring 1-inch of water to a boil in a small skillet, then add asparagus pieces. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vibrant and just beginning to get tender, 3-5 minutes. Strain asparagus and set aside.
- To the pasta sauce, gradually add reserved pasta water until you reach desired consistency. Add chopped sun-dried tomatoes, asparagus and crumbled sausage. Mix everything together and simmer another few minutes. If pasta sauce is too thick, add additional pasta water.
- Add the pasta noodles to the sauce mixture and stir everything together. Serve hot and garnish with Parmesan cheese, if desired.