"True wine enthusiasts don’t collect wines.
They collect memories of wines shared with friends and family."

-Dario Zucconi

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Farfalle w/Italian Sausage, Vegetables & Tomato Cream Sauce

Some people think Farfalle (Bow-tie pasta) is boring. Well, if you are one of those people, I have a recipe that, once you try it, you will change your mind. It's my Farfalle pasta with mild Italian Sausage, fresh broccoli and bell peppers, and a light tomato cream sauce. [Feel free to use whatever vegetables you and your kids like, if you have kids.]

When I made this pasta dish this past Saturday, Patrick and I had a glass of a Meritage wine by Nine Points from Sonoma, CA. I bought this wine at Safeway for $12 (it is regularly $23). It is a medium-bodied wine, that is smooth to drink, with notes of berries. Nine Points is a line of wine from Stags' Leap Winery.

To start the meal (as an appetizer), I served an amazing salad of purple cherry tomatoes with fresh mozzarella, diced avocados, fresh basil, balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. I have never had purple tomatoes before, but they are delicious. They are crunchy, and when they pop in your mouth, they are sweet and scrumptious. My daughter actually asked for them every time as a snack. She said: "These tomatoes are great, Mom!" Who would have thought a 6-year-old would have found something that is actually good for her "great." It makes me so happy-:) I only wish I had bought more than one basket of the tomatoes.

To finish the meal, I served a refreshing and very simple dessert of fresh sliced peaches dropped into a glass of muscat (a sweet dessert wine from Paso Robles, CA). Saturday was very hot, and after running around running errands, and cheering my daughter at her soccer game, this dessert was a great way to cool down. I found this particular muscat (Castoro Cellars) at Trader Joe's for $5.

Here is what you need for the pasta (the rest of the meal is already described above):
  • Box of Farfalle pasta cooked according to the package instructions; ADD the vegetables into the pot of boiling pasta during the last 2 minutes of cooking [Barilla's PLUS brand is great: it is whole grain and enhanced with omega-3]
  • 1 package of mild Italian Sausage (casings removed, crumbled, and browned on in a non-stick skillet on the stove top; once cooked remove from skillet and place on paper towel to drain out some of the excess oil)
  • 1 medium can of diced tomatoes (with Italian seasonings)
  • 1/2 red onions (chopped)
  • 2 small garlic cloves
  • 1 Tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of red wine (or white if that's what you have on hand)
  • 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Italian seasoning (or some dried basil and oregano, if you have)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
What to do:
  • Throw away the excess oil from the skillet that you cooked the sausage in.
  • Add olive oil to the pan
  • Add onions, and saute for about 2 minutes
  • Add garlic and saute for 1 minute (don't burn the garlic)
  • Add the diced tomatoes with the liquid
  • Add the Italian seasoning
  • Add some salt and pepper to taste
  • Add the wine and stir
  • Let it simmer on low for just a couple of minutes (to cook out the wine)
  • Add some water from the pasta pot or some pre-made pasta sauce, if you have some
  • Then, add the whipping cream
  • Stir, simmer for about a minute, then turn off the heat
  • Add cooked pasta from the pot directly into the skillet
  • stir; add salt and pepper, if necessary; then mix in the Parmesan cheese
  • Season with salt and pepper and serve
I hope you try this recipe one day. If you do, I would love to hear what you think. So, don't forget to write a comment.

Until next time . . . cheers!



  1. Here is the recipe you asked for since you're on a pasta kick

    Do-ahead Tortellini Salad


    1 package (9 ounces) refrigerated cheese tortellini
    1 package (9 ounces) refrigerated spinach tortellini
    1 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces
    1 small red onion, diced
    1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, diced
    1 cup quartered grape tomatoes
    1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    1 teaspoon minced garlic
    1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
    2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
    1/2 teaspoon dried basil
    1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper

    1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add tortellini and cook 3 minutes; add beans and continue cooking until tortellini is tender, about 5 minutes. Drain; rinse under cool water. Drain well. Place in serving bowl. Stir in onion, olives and tomatoes.

    2. Dressing: In a small jar or plastic container with tight-fitting lid, combine oil and garlic. Let stand 10 minutes, then add both vinegars, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Shake well. Stir half into tortellini salad.

    3. Cover salad with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 1 day. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before serving; stir in remaining dressing if needed.

  2. Thank you, Jane. That Tortellini Salad was absolutely delicious. Can't wait to make it.