… from the California Kitchen
How you doin’? I thought I would get back to my roots for this blog and bring you one of the simplest pasta dishes ever. When I first met my chef friend, Joe Cochran, he was the executive chef at the Lowes, Santa Monica and was always fun to work with. We invited our ABC audience (The Super Foodies) to a live marathon cooking show at the Lowes where we demonstrated over 40 recipes in 90 minutes. One of Joe’s best dishes is/was his Baked Penne With Spicy Italian Sausage—a recipe that followed him around to all his subsequent assignments.
I wanted to make a similar dish using an Instant Pot. Here is my version of a perfect, stress-free, rich and creamy fool proof recipe. You’ll be calling out penne, penne, penne (The Big Bang) every chance you get.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Yield: 4 large servings
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces uncooked Italian sausage, casings removed
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 cup red wine (cheap)
1 (22- to 25-ounce) jar marinara sauce (I prefer Rao’s Marinara)
2 cups water
8 ounces dried penne pasta
8 ounces ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
ChefSecret: This recipe does not have to be baked—it is perfect right out of the Instant Pot. If you would like to brown the melted cheese a bit, take a portion of penne and spoon it into an oven-safe dish and stick it under a broiler for about 60 seconds—just enough to brown the melted cheese.
Covid-19 Quip of the Day: I don’t think anyone expected that when we changed the clocks last year, we’d go from Standard Time Zone to the Twilight Zone.
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