Penne with Sausage and Chilli

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You only need a few ingredients to make this pasta dish. It’s a good weekday family standby for a hungry family or an easy dinner party dish.

Serves 4 (divides in half or doubles easily)


8 Italian sausages (or 1/2 link of chorizo)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon of dried chilli flakes, or 1 teaspoon of freshly chopped chilli (increase or decrease to suit your taste)
200g tinned tomatoes or 10 cherry tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon of chopped fresh rosemary or oregano
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
400g penne
1 cup of freshly grated parmesan


1. Slice the Italian sausage (or chorizo) into 1/4 inch slices and fry in the olive oil until brown (you won’t need to use olive oil if you use chorizo).

2. Add the garlic and dried chilli and fry gently until you can smell the aroma of garlic. Don’t let the garlic brown. Add the tomatoes and the juice from the tin and the rosemary or dried oregano. Add a little salt and pepper.

3. Gently cook the sausage and tomato mixture with the lid on for 30 minutes, adding a little water or white wine if it is drying out. Stir every so often. At the end of the 30 minutes, adjust the seasoning.

4. Cook with the lid off to reduce the sauce to thicken it for about 5 or 10 minutes while you are cooking the pasta. If it is thick enough already, keep the lid on and it will stay warm.

5. Cook the penne in lots of salted boiling water – it usually takes about 9-11 minutes but check the back of the pack.

6. Drain the penne and toss it with enough sausage and tomato sauce to coat it in a large bowl and serve with a bowl of grated parmesan.

Cook’s note

– You can use good old Irish sausages for this recipe too, the spicier the better. Freeze a few when you open a packet and you’ll have them for this dish.



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