Tomato Basil Penne With Spicy Italian Chickpeas

Ingredients:

1 16-ounce package Premio Sweet Italian Sausage
1/8 cup fresh white onion, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil, any variety
1 14-ounce can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), any brand
2 teaspoons dried red pepper flakes, crushed
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 28-ounce cans diced tomatoes, any brand
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup basil pesto, any brand
1 16-ounce package penne pasta, any brand
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded

  • Always cook pork sausage to a minimum internal temperature of 160° F using a meat thermometer.
  • Always cook chicken sausage to a minimum internal temperature of 165° F using a meat thermometer.
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How to make Tomato Basil Penne With Spicy Italian Chickpeas:

1. Remove casings from Premio Sweet Italian Sausage, adding the sausage to a medium-sized mixing bowl. Discard casings. Mix the sausage with minced onions using a fork or your hands.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet on the stove-top at low-medium heat for one minute. Add your sausage and onion mixture. Cook the sausage until it turns brown, which takes about five to seven minutes. Stir regularly to break the sausage into smaller pieces.

3. Remove your skillet from the stove and put it aside on a trivet or unused burner. Cover the cooked sausage with a lid to retain heat.

4. Heat remaining olive oil in large pot on the stove-top over medium heat for one minute. Add chickpeas, red pepper flakes, paprika, mustard seeds, salt and pepper. Cook the chickpea mixture for five to seven minutes, stirring regularly. Once the outside of the chickpeas appear golden and crisp, spoon the heated chickpeas into a small mixing bowl. Keep the large pot on the stove.

5. Add diced tomatoes, water and basil pesto to a large pot. Simmer over medium heat, stirring every two minutes, for 15 minutes. If the sauce becomes too thick, add 1/4 cup water.

6. While the sauce cooks, bring a second large pot filled 2/3 with water to a boil. Add penne pasta, following the package’s cooking directions. Once ready, drain the penne and return to the pot.

7. Add your cooked sausage mixture and tomato basil sauce to the cooked penne, and toss it with a pasta fork. Make sure the sausage reaches a minimum internal temperature of 165°F.

8. Serve and enjoy your pasta on dinner plates, topped with 3 tablespoons each of chickpeas and shredded mozzarella.

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