It is no secret that I love Italian food, pasta especially, so Ryan and I frequent a few Italian restaurants around town. This recipe was inspired by a dish we had at our favorite restaurant. I made a traditional tomato sauce with Italian sausage, onions and garlic. To make it creamy I added some mascarpone cheese before tossing it with the penne pasta. A little fresh basil at the end added a little bit of sweetness.
You can use any kind of Italian sausage that you would like. I prefer to use hot, but this would be just as good with mild or even sweet Italian sausage. Just keep in mind when you are seasoning the sauce that the sausage can be kind of salty so you will want to adjust your salt accordingly.
In a large skillet, brown Italian sausage over medium heat. Remove to colander to strain the grease.
In the same skillet, add onion and garlic. Cook 3 minutes or until onion has softened.
Add tomatoes and oregano to the skillet. Return sausage to the skillet. Cook over medium heat while you prepare your pasta.
Meanwhile, start your pasta. Cook pasta according to package directions. Strain.
Stir mascarpone cheese into tomato sauce. Once the cheese has melted, stir in penne pasta. Toss to coat.
Gently chop basil and sprinkle it over the pasta. Serve hot.
If all goes well with my little garden, hopefully I will be able to use my own fresh basil in a few months. :) Enjoy!