1 pound hot or sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1 onion, chopped fine
1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced thin
8 ounces penne or ziti, about 2 1/2 cups
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup white wine
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup half and half
8 ounces broccoli florets, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated or shredded
1 tablespoon fresh basil, finely chopped
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper

1. Cook sausage in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, breaking up pieces with wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Drain sausage on paper towel-lined plate.

2. Cook onion and bell pepper in sausage fat until softened, about 8 minutes. Add penne and cook, stirring oven, until pasta is lightly toasted, about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic and pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in wine, broth, and half and half and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until pasta begins to soften, about 8 minutes.

3. Arrange broccoli on top of pasta and continue to cook, covered, until broccoli is bright green and tender and pasta is al dente, about 8 minutes. Off heat, stir in sausage, Parmesan, basil, and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Serve.

Creamy Skillet Penne with Broccoli and Sausage

This recipe is from the 2008 Cook's Country Annual and it falls into the category of “recipes Lance loves.”  Why does Lance love this type of recipe?  Because it only uses one skillet.  A dishwasher’s dream!  I’m also a big fan of one-skillet meals because they tend to be nice and simple, great for a busy evening or to end a busy day. 

I thought all the flavors in this dish were great, Art enjoyed it in leftover form a few days later, and I’ll be making it at some point in the future when I need a quick weeknight meal.

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