This is one of those simple but incredibly delicious dishes that taste like they could be from a restaurant. You know those kind? They’re kind of ridiculously easy and only have a few simple ingredients, but they come together into gorgeous, soul-satisfying dishes.
This one is definitely good enough for company, but it’s easy enough that I could make it as a complete cooking novice in college. I don’t know where the original recipe comes from, but I’ve kind of adapted it along the way anyway, so basically it’s my own creation.
What makes it so great is all of the grape tomatoes. Fresh, bright, and consistently flavorful, grape tomatoes are my go-to tomato of choice when I don’t have tomatoes growing in my garden (which is most of the year). I’m lucky enough to have a bit of an overwhelming bounty of grape tomatoes (and regular tomatoes, for that matter) coming in from my back yard at the moment, so I’ve been searching for recipes to use them up. This old standby of mine came to mind right away.
I used a good amount of those lovely yellow grape tomatoes, which is why the sauce in the photos is the color it is (it kind of blends in with the color of the pasta)- if you use all red tomatoes, the sauce will be pinkish.
It’s so easy – cook up some sweet Italian sausage, onion and garlic, slice a whole bunch of grape tomatoes in half and throw them in the pot, cook it down, and finish with some cream and basil. Easy peasy. And oh so yummy. One note – I used whole wheat spaghetti this time, which is fine, but because it’s such a chunky sauce, it really works best with a shorter pasta like farfalle, rotini, or gemelli.
Creamy Pasta with Grape Tomatoes and Sausage
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 pints grape tomatoes, halved (I used a mix of red and yellow grape tomatoes
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pound pasta (short pasta works best)
1. In a large, deep skillet over medium heat, cook sausage and red pepper flakes. Sauté about 5 minutes, breaking up the sausage into small pieces, until the sausage is no longer pink. Add the onion and garlic and cook a few minutes more, until the onion is soft.
2. Add the grape tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are collapsed and very saucy, 5 – 10 minutes. Add cream and parmesan and simmer 5 minutes more. Stir in basil.
3. Meanwhile, cook pasta in well-salted water according to package directions. Drain and serve pasta with the sauce and more parmesan cheese.