I've got a new favorite pasta.
It's not for the vegetarian, the purist, or the healthy. Anyone who classifies themselves as such, move along.
For the rest of you, I give you: penne with spicy tomato sauce, black olives, sausage, and burrata.
I absolutely adore this pasta. I found the recipe on Connie's blog (which I love) a few weeks ago, and knew it was going on my short list. I liked all of the ingredients, of course, but I also liked that it called for canned tomato sauce--nice shortcut! I know we're supposed to make our own tomato sauce but once in awhile it's nice to skip a few steps.
Of course, I made a few edits, all but two of which reflect my gluttonous nature.
For one, I used regular penne instead of farro penne--but only because I couldn't find farro penne, even at Whole Foods. Two, I omitted the fennel, because the husband swears he does not like it (although I slipped it into a dinner last week and he did not notice, which makes me suspicious of his claim). But I figured tricking your mate shouldn't become a regular occurrence so I let the fennel go for this one.
On the gluttonous end, I used a full pound of pasta, because I don't like to have a fraction of a box of pasta rattling around in the pantry--it's destined for the garbage. And, I used a full pound of sausage instead of a half, because, you know, why not? And, I used two cans of tomato sauce instead of one. I'm a sauce fiend, as we've discussed, so I knew one 15-ounce can wasn't going to do it for me.
It's a speedy, spicy, perfectly balanced pasta, just right for a mid-week dinner, although I would serve it without reservation to guests. The oil-cured olives add the perfect salty bite. The burrata....well, I feel the same way about burrata as I do about sauce: give me more.
I can see a lot of variations on this. If the husband ate eggplant, for instance, I would consider swapping the sausage for grilled eggplant to make the dish a shade healthier. You could leave out the cheese and it would still be delicious, add capers, making it more like a puttanesca, or skip the olives. The dish could handle any number of alterations without losing its deliciousness.
Give a try and make it your own.