Nov 3, 2011

IHCC Pasta Bowl: Penne alla Senese (Penne w/ Sausage, Walnuts, and Cream)

This week I Heart Cooking Clubs is all about PASTA.
IHCC Tessa Kiros Button

If you aren't familiar with I Heart Cooking Clubs, we're currently cooking the recipes of Tessa Kiros.  Ms. Kiros just happens to have an Italian husband.  She also just happens to have an Italian cookbook titled Twelve: A Tuscan Cookbook.  Seems like a good place to find a pasta recipe!

This week's IHCC recipe is something I've been waiting--pins, needles, the whole nine--to talk about.  When I saw the "In My Pasta Bowl" theme announced, there may have been a little (desk) chair dance involved.  Arms may have been raised in the air.  Fists pumped.  Yep.  It's that good.

Penne alla Senese (Penne w/ Sausage, Walnuts, and Cream)

I can't say enough about how much we've liked Tessa Kiros' recipes.  Each week seems to top the next. 

This week's dish...I knew it was a winner while cooking the sausage and pecans.  Oh, did I mention there's also prosciutto?  (My cheap a#! used bacon).  Adding the brandy made me want to hurry things along because I knew it was going to be good. 

When I tell you this was delicious, I'm not pullin' your leg.  When I tell you I wish there was a perfume based on the sauce...well, I may be tuggin' just a little bit.

It's in my nature to do my own thing.  And things were done.  Garlic added.  Pecans instead of walnuts.  After tasting the dish with pasta, I felt that the incredible flavors of the sauce had been lost a little.  Nothing a little extra pour (or two) of brandy couldn't fix.  I had to call  'em to the table quick before I stood at the stove and ate more than my share.

Take a look at this week's pasta dishes at IHCC.

Need more pasta?  I'm also linking up with Presto Pasta Nights #238, hosted by Ruth of Once Upon a Feast

And even more pasta can be found at
Carole's Chatter: Food on Friday Pasta & Noodles theme

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Penne alla Senese (Penne w/ Sausage, Walnuts, and Cream)
Adapted from Twelve: A Tuscan Cookbook by Tessa Kiros

1 1/2 Tbsp butter
3 links hot Italian sausage
3 slices bacon, chopped
3 cloves garlic
3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans, plus 2 Tbsp for garnish
4-5 Tbsp brandy
1 c heavy whipping cream
1 lb penne
1 1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese

Melt the butter in a large skillet.  Remove sausage from casing and crumble into the pan.  Cook a few minutes, then add the bacon and pecans.  When golden, add the garlic and saute until fragrant.  Add the brandy, scraping up the bits from the bottom of the pan.  After the brandy evaporates, add the cream.  Season to taste (remember, Parmesan cheese will be added later).  Simmer for a few minutes.

If you find the sauce a little too thick, add a bit of cooking water from the pasta.

Cook the penne in boiling salted water.  Drain and add to the pan.  Add the Parmesan cheese, toss thoroughly to coat, and serve immediately.


  1. this so reminds me of another dish I made a while back (Mexican of all things, without the pasta) and I always find it so interesting how similar foods are from different continents...

  2. It does sound perfect. Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights. I'm drooling and drooling!

  3. I had this one marked as well as the one I made and decided to go with the olive one as I had made a similar one to this one either from Hazan or Giada or someone, so I thought I would do the olive one and then this one later...I am happy I did because otherwise we would have the same dish this week. It was fun to hear your little changes and additions...I always love learning about all that. Looks wonderful. I better get to it soon.

  4. This dish sounds and looks absolutely scrumptious! Also love the tweaks you made with the garlic, pecans, and bacon! Perfect! Have a great weekend!

  5. Delicious! What a great combo. I would never have thought to put sausage and walnuts together.
    And I agree, add garlic to everything - even dessert! ;-)

  6. Oh my goodness...this sounds amazing. So many in your face flavors. And yes. I want each and every one in my face right now!

  7. I chose the wrong recipe from twelve now i see this(it was this one or the spaghettini i made) This one is going to be next!

  8. I'm so happy to hear that you guys are enjoying all of Tessa's recipes. That's awesome! You wanna know what's funny? I bought Tessa's book, Twelve, about 6-7 years ago and this was the first dish I made from it. It was so good back then that I can still remember it now:)

    It looks incredible!

    P.S. I made the he-man chili (with beans) on Friday and we've been eating it all weekend. We really liked the tang from the Worcestershire sauce. We ate it plain, ate it over pasta, ate it on lettuce with corn chips, and put it on baked potatoes...loved it!

  9. What a lovely combo. Your pics are great. Looks totally delish! Great choice for pasta week.

  10. This looks so wonderful. I love that you subbed in pecans and of course added more garlic. Yum! ;-)

  11. Looks decadent. Thanks for linking it in. Cheers

  12. Anonymous2/25/2015

    IMHO pecans contribute too much of an oily chew/flavor. Walnuts blend better with dish. Walnuts have cleaner crunch and flavor.


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