For all you marsala lovers out there, this is the recipe you’ve been waiting for. Penne marsala with sausage and rosemary. So, you are probably wondering why I use sausage and not chicken. For some reason, I am not a fan of chicken in my pasta. Shrimp, I love…sausage or meatballs, of course, chicken I can take or leave. Not sure why…I guess it is just one of my hangups. Anyway, lets get down to business.
Penne marsala is an earthy, hearty pasta dish to enjoy for dinner.
I love sausage with marsala. The saltiness of the sausage really compliments the rich taste of the marsala wine. And a touch of rosemary adds a piney flavor that puts this dish over the edge. I also add some heavy cream. Because, well let’s be honest, heavy cream makes everything better. And the magic touch is a cup of grated parmigiano reggiano. Add it on top of the hot pasta, and watch the magic happen. It melts right into the pasta and the sauce to make something really special. Ok…lets wipe the drool of our chins and move along.
For all you vegetarians out there, omit the sausage, double the mushrooms, and you have one tasty dish for dinner.
If you don’t feel so great about sausage, you can make this dish vegetarian. However, I would add more mushrooms. Like double the amount. I know it will seem like a lot, but they do cook down a bit. Plus, you need to substitute something for the missing sausage. Extra mushrooms will give this dish a meaty feel, but without the meat. You could also experiment with using different types of mushrooms. Do some cremini, slice big portobellos, shitake, or porcini. If you use porcini, which usually come dried, you have to reconstitute them. Check out this link on directions to do that. More importantly, do not throw away the reserved liquid. Add a little to the pasta to give a boost to the yummy mushroom flavor.
Let me know how it comes out!
Wine pairing: Pinot Noir, Syrah
- 1 box penne pasta
- 1 pound sausage, crumbled
- 16 ounces (2 containers) cremini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon rosemary, chopped
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup dry marsala
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup grated parmigiano reggiano cheese, plus extra for serving
- Bring a large pot filled with water to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons salt and penne pasta. Cook according to the directions on the box. In the meantime, follow the directions below.
- Remove the sausage from the casing.
- Add 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive to a large fry pan, on medium heat.
- Brown the sausage (about 8-10 minutes) and transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel.
- In the same pan, add the sliced mushrooms, minced garlic and chopped rosemary, one tablespoon extra virgin olive oil and two tablespoons butter.
- Cook for about 5 minutes until the mushrooms start to brown. Stir constantly so the garlic does not burn.
- Add the marsala wine. Raise to medium high heat. Cook for about 10-12 minutes until the liquid bubbles and start to reduce a little.
- Reduce the heat back to medium. Add the heavy cream and stir until combined. Continue to cook for another 4-5 minutes.
- Reserve 1 cup pasta water. Drain the pasta when it is done.
- Add the sausage, cooked penne pasta, and 1 cup grated parmigiano reggiano cheese, and combine.
- If needed, add some of the reserved pasta water.
- Top with extra grated parmigiano reggiano cheese.