I have never used chicken sausage before when cooking. But since trying this recipe I have decided that it is TOTALLY awesome. Yes. It is. This is a very tasty pasta. Obviously you can use vodka instead of the apple juice/gingerale, but since we don’t drink alcohol, we don’t keep it in the house… which means we have to be creative when cooking. I think we’ve decided that our favorite non-alcoholic substitute is gingerale. It is slightly sweet but not overly so. I obviously have no idea what this dish is SUPPOSED to taste like, but if you choose to make the non-alcoholic version, gingerale is an excellent choice. Either way, this is yummy. Will be making again.
**Hand-me-down recipe, unsure of original source**
Chicken Sausage Penne al a Vodka
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound chicken sausage, casings removed
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped onion
- 1 jalapeno, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped green pepper
- 1 teaspoon Hungarian hot paprika
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes with basil
- 1/3 cup gingerale (or apple juice)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 pound ziti or rigatoni (can use gluten free to make this a gluten free meal!)
- 1 cup grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese
- 3 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley leaves
- Bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta.
- In a large saute pan over medium heat melt butter with oil. Add chicken sausage and brown, 3 to 4 minutes, breaking up large chunks with a wooden spoon.
- Add onions, jalapenos and garlic and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add green pepper, paprika, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, to taste, and cook 3 minutes more.
- Salt the pasta water and add the ziti or rigatoni. Cook until al dente.
- Meanwhile, add tomatoes to the sauce and bring to a simmer, for about 10 minutes. Add juice and cream and cook a few minutes more. Toss in cheese and chopped parsley.
- To serve, drain the pasta well and add to the sauce. Mix until pasta is nicely coated. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.