Heat extra virgin olive oil on medium heat in a pan and add one half of a chopped onion. Saute for 3-5 minutes until translucent. Add garlic, 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes and one tsp. dried oregano. Mix until fragrant, about one minute. Watch the heat… you don’t want to burn the garlic.
Add 1/2 lb of Italian sausage and brown. I used mild but my husband said he wanted more spice when presented with the finished product. You can always substitute hot Italian sausage – that will definitely bring the heat.
Pour 3/4 of a cup of cream into the pan and bring to a simmer. Stir frequently and turn the heat to medium low. Season with salt and pepper. Add the pasta to your boiling water right after you add the cream. This will allow the sauce to meld while the pasta cooks.
Peas!!! Use frozen peas. I take the bag out of the freezer while I am assembling the ingredients so they begin to thaw. They won’t need more than three minutes to heat through. You don’t want to add them too early or they will become mushy. I love when they pop open in my mouth, especially when they are paired with a creamy sauce like this. They add great texture.
Penne is great for this dish – the ridges and hollow tubes will really help the sauce adhere to the pasta and soak it all up. Delicious! You also don’t want to drain the pasta for this type of dish. I use my hand strainer and transfer the pasta directly to the pot with the sauce. The pasta water has lots of starch in it from the noodles and will help to flavor the sauce.
Grate the parmesan onto the pasta – it will begin to melt on the warm pasta and then soak in… only good things come from this, I promise
Mix everything together, taste and season with salt and pepper. Then add a palm-full of chopped parsley. It brightens the whole dish and adds freshness, which is important here since this is not exactly a light dish… pretty hearty, in fact… you know, with the sausage, cream, cheese and the fried egg we are about to add…
That’s right! A yummy, sunny-side up egg. Over the past few years I have become a huge fan of egg yolks – the runny variety that is. Oh my gosh they make almost any dish better, seriously. On top of pizza, salads, poached, over-easy. However you prefer them think about adding them to your dishes. The best bites of this meal were located directly under the egg where the yolk coated the noodles and mixed with the sauce. This dinner took 30 minutes to prepare – start to finish. I hope you enjoy!
- one tbs olive oil
- one half medium onion, chopped
- two cloves garlic, minced
- one quarter tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- one tsp dried oregano
- one half pound Italian sausage (mild or hot, your preference)
- three quarters cup cream
- salt and pepper to taste
- one third cup frozen peas
- one half pound penne pasta
- one third cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- one quarter cup chopped parsley
- one tbs unsalted butter
- two eggs, sunny-side-up