Penne With Fancy Chicken Sausage and Basil Ribbons

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.

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17 Responses
  1. Clementina Lawley

    I have to say that for the past few of hours i have been hooked by the amazing posts on this website. Keep up the good work.

  2. Sarah

    I recently found your site through….not quite sure right now, but am so glad I did! I made this for my family this past week and they loved it! I couldn’t make it to Trader Joe’s and instead used Honeysuckle Italian Turkey sausage and it turned out wonderful. The recipe is so easy to make and filling!

  3. Catherine Wilkinson

    I love Michael too! But like Em says, maybe too much wine! But your dish is so much more appealling…especially now that I can sort of taste spring!!!

  4. Nicole

    This recipe looks fantastic! You had me at “Penne”.

    A while back, I participated in a campaign for al fresco brand chicken sausages. I was skeptical at first but after trying them, fell in love with them. We’re no longer near a TJs, but SuperTarget carries the al fresco ones and they’ll work great in this.

    For anyone else not near a TJs, check

  5. Tracy

    What a bummer about the soup! I hate it when that happens. I usually like Michael Chiarello, too.

  6. Karen

    First of all, that pasta looks great! I love Michael Chiarello too and feel your pain of having to dump the soup. Uggg. It’s all of the time and money down the drain that is so hard.

  7. The Fischer Family

    This looks sooo good! I love sausage so I’m definitely gonna have to try this one! Thanks for such a great site!

  8. Jenny

    Hi Ryles,
    Thanks for sharing your story. It’s nice to know others have gone through the same thing!! It’s such a bummer wasting good ingredients!

    Thanks for your nice compliments, I can’t wait to check out your blog!! Have a great day!

  9. ryles

    I am soo sorry about your soup…

    I completely feel your pain. Have you ever had the enchilada soup from Chili’s? Needless to say.. I’m totally addicted to it. So I scoured the internet to find a copy cat recipe. I found one that had reviews and everyone raved about it. I went to the store, bought everything I needed. (Including a 5lbs bad of masa. That I will probably never use again..) Got out my HUGE soup pot and started cooking.

    I too.. almost cried as I had to dump the whole thing down the drain. Man, was it GROSS!!

    Doesn’t it make you feel so much better when you can make something afterwards that turns out so perfect???

    I love this pasta… it looks amazing. I could almost lick my screen!! 🙂 (But I won’t)

    Thank you for sharing such good recipes with us..

    I love this site and try to visit almost everyday!


  10. Jenny

    Glad to hear I’m not the only one this happens to. You wonder if maybe there are typo’s in their recipes. Who knows!

    Hi Mrs. Presley,
    I do feel so lucky to have TJ’s!

    I’m still a fan of Michaels, but yah, something’s up with his recipe! Unless maybe my 2 year old threw something in the soup while I wasn’t looking!

  11. Emiline

    Oh, that makes me sad about the soup. I’ve thrown away food on several occasions.
    Maybe Michael drank too much wine when he was developing that recipe. 🙂

    This looks great!

  12. Anonymous

    I have had similar results when attempting to prepare recipes from The Food Network. Two incidents come to my mind – a recipe that Paula Deen said was the absolute best recipe for baked beans she had ever tasted. All I can say is that I, too, had tears when I poured it down the disposal drain because NOBODY enjoyed it. I’ve also had bad luck with one of Giada’s recipes. In my (and your) defense, I have noticed a difference of listed ingredients from the t.v. recipe version as compared to the version listed on their website.

  13. Jenny

    Thanks so much Marilyn! This pasta is so yummy!

    Thanks Melissa!

    Trader Joes has a ton of different varieties I love them all.

  14. Deborah

    I am a sausage fan. There is a local brand here that I just love, but I’m not sure if they sell chicken sausage. I’m going to be looking for some of that for sure!

    So sorry about the soup. Don’t you hate it when a recipe is a total let-down!?!

  15. Marilyn

    This is truly one of my favorite websites ever! I just love coming here and get inspired. I’m definitely gonna try this dish. 🙂

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