Sorry, but I have to tell you my sad soup story that happened this morning before I talk about this pasta recipe…..

I am a huge fan of Michael Chiarello. I was excited to try a soup of his I saw on one of his shows last week titled Super Tuscan White Bean Soup. It looked so good, but it was quite the disappointment. I spent the morning chopping, simmering, blending and nearly shed a tear as I just dumped a 5 quart pot full of soup down the garbage disposal. I consider myself good at following recipes, so I’m not sure what went wrong, maybe my beans were not the right type. The most disappointing moment is when I wasted that $6.00 package of prosciutto, ouch! I went to taste the finished product and it tasted like a chalky mess! If you saw that show, I would recommend not trying the soup. Glad I didn’t waste my fresh basil for the topping!

Ok, on to something better. I’ve had this picture on file from a few weeks ago and this was a great easy weeknight dinner. I know some people are not fans of sausage, but this chicken sausage I got from Trader Joes was delicious. It had bits of basil, parmesan and fontina inside it. It really jazzed up this otherwise basic pasta dish. I’ve seen these gourmet chicken sausages at the regular grocery stores too, so if you are so inclined to try them, this was a great dinner. You could substitute cooked chicken breast for the sausage if you’d prefer. Serve with some warm crusty garlic bread and Enjoy!

Penne With Fancy Chicken Sausage and Basil Ribbons

½ lb whole wheat penne pasta, dry
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ white onion, finely diced
1 red bell pepper finely diced
3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
4 chicken sausage links, variety of choice, sliced into ¼ inch slices
10 fresh basil leaves, stacked, rolled and thinly sliced (chiffonade)
2-4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside.

2. In a large skillet or medium dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Saute onion and bell pepper until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and sausage. Cook and stir for 5 more minutes. Stir in cooked pasta, basil leaves and 2-4 Tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste.