Roasted Tomatoes and Italian Sausage Pasta

Last night, we had friends over for dinner. Yesterday morning the kids and I roasted some tomatoes. (Our house smelled glorious!) Earlier, I had taken out some Turkey Italian Sausage, thinking it would go nicely in a pasta dish, along with the roasted tomatoes. Throughout the day, I kept smelling those tomatoes, thinking about that sausage and wondering what I would create for dinner.

Here is what I did:

Roasted Tomatoes (here’s the recipe)

Onions (two large, chopped and caramelized)

Turkey Italian Sausage (2 pkgs, sliced and browned)

Whole Wheat Penne (1.5 bags, cooked)

Italian Herbs (dried)

Salt and Pepper

Olives (one can, sliced)

Mushrooms (one can, sliced)

Capers (1/4 cup, drained)

Pine Nuts (1/4 cup, toasted)

Alfredo Sauce (1 16 ounce jar) *Ideally, I wanted to use grated Parmesan cheese. However, I ran out, so I used the Alfredo sauce.

Directions: Roast the tomatoes, following recipe. (This is a  lengthy process that takes about three hours, but is so worth it.)

When ready to prepare the meal, heat up water in a stock pot for the pasta. Cook until just al dente. In a skillet, heat up a bit of olive oil and caramelize onions, adding Italian herbs to taste, salt and a bit of pepper (Red pepper flakes would be superb!). When done, pour onions into roasting pan with tomatoes. In same skillet, brown sliced sausage. Add to the roasting pan, along with capers, olives and mushroom. Stir all together. The flavors will mesh together and are absolutely wonderful.

Drain pasta, when ready. Add half of the roasting pan mixture into the stockpot. Next, add pasta. Followed by remaining tomatoes, onions and sausage mixture. Stir together. Add the jar of Alfredo sauce. (You can also make your own. I just had a jar on hand.) Or, you can use grated Parmesan cheese (about 1/4 cup).

Take a test bite and adjust seasonings. Top with toasted pine nuts. Serve with a tossed green salad.

This meal was a hit, even for my kids! We had leftovers, too, and sent some home with our friends!

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