Chicken Sausage, What’s That?

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

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print



  •  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


  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Salt the pasta water and add the ziti or rigatoni. Cook until al dente.
  5. 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.
  6. To serve, drain the pasta well and add to the sauce. Mix until pasta is nicely coated. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.


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