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Penne Primavera (in Fall)

By 7:00 AM , , , , ,

We're going through a "clean out the pantry" week at the house and this recipe seemed like a natural.

The last of our heirloom tomatoes are on the window sill and have turned a beautiful yellow orange - and we had asparagus in the fridge. I toyed with an asparagus marinara, but decided on more of a primavera (even though that means spring and it's 40 degrees outside).

I also added protein in the form of garlic chicken sausages from Trader Joes. This really was an easy recipe to fix, great for a quick week night meal that doesn't take too much time.

With the asparagus, I sliced it lengthwise, the sliced each of half lengthwise again, so it made ribbons of asparagus. I then sliced these in half so it made 2-3 inch ribbons of asparagus.

What's great about this is the versatility - use any vegetables that you have on hand, any time of pasta and protein.


1 package of garlic chicken sausages from Trader Joes (Or any protein like chicken) - 1/2 inch slices
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Salt
4 diced Tomatoes
1/2 bunch of Asparagus spears (Quartered as explained above)
3 cloves of garlic - minced
1 Tbsp Cornstarch
1 cup of Milk
1 Cayenne Pepper - sliced
1 cup grated Parmesan
2 Tbsp chives


Bring a pot of water to just under a boil and keep warm.

In a separate pan:

Brown the sausages on both sides over medium heat in 1 tablespoons of olive oil and remove from pan and set aside.

Add more oil if needed and add asparagus and season with salt. Saute for 2-3 minutes until tender. Add in garlic and tomatoes and cook for another five minutes to soften tomatoes.

Remove the vegetables from the pan and set aside.

Now you're making the sauce for the pasta.

Add another tablespoon of olive oil and a heaping tablespoon of cornstarch and stir to make a roux. When the cornstarch and the fat have combined and there are no clumps, add in 1 cup of milk and whisk to combine. Add you cayenne pepper and let this "simmer".

Whisk constantly - if mixture gets too thick, add chicken stock to thin out slightly. Whisk in Parmesan cheese a little at a time, making sure it's dissolved into the roux before adding more.

Bring you pasta water to a boil and cook pasts as instructed - reserving 1 cup of pasta water.

Drain your pasta and add it back to the pot - add 1/2 cup of the pasta water, and add your sauce to the pasta, stirring to coat and combine.

Stir in your sausages and vegetables, and top with chives.


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  1. First of all, this looks amazing!

    I popped over after reading a review you left on Giada's recipe for lemon risotto - made it tonight and LOVED it.

    I like the premise of your blog and look forward to following you :-)