One of the simplest and quickest dishes we make on a weekday is spaghetti. You boil the noodles, cook the meat, mix it together and add the sauce. Ta-Da! It’s done in less than 20 minutes. But what about when you want to add some variety? This is the question that we asked before deciding to experiment a little. Our results: Sausage Penne-Ghetti.
You can easily change up the sauce flavor or top your dish with cheese for variety. Or you can be like us and change the meat and noodle. Changing the pasta noodle doesn’t really make a change in flavor, it’s more in the texture. Changing the meat, however, can make a big change.
What Flavor of Sausage We Use.
Sausage is one of the staples we always have in our freezer. When making Sausage Penne-Ghetti, we found that using Regular sausage tasted a lot better than using Italian Sausage. That may just be our preference, though. We do like Italian Sausage in other dishes (namely Sausage, Potato, and Kale soup), it’s just not for our Penne-Ghetti.
I also think that sausage cooks faster than hamburger. I may be wrong on that, but by the time I was draining my noodles, the sausage was starting to burn the bottom of the pan a little bit. Yes, I stirred it. When we first started experimenting, we used half-sausage and half-hamburger. We soon nixed the hamburger all together and made it all sausage.
If you try making this dish with another flavor of sausage, I’d love to know your thoughts.
Let me know in the comments.
Pasta and Sauce.
Thinking back to that little kitchen where we began our experimentation, I don’t even remember what led to our decision to use Penne pasta instead of Spaghetti. It was probably an in-the-moment decision we made while standing in the pasta aisle at Walmart. I don’t recall trying any other pasta, but I can say that this dish wouldn’t be the same if we used something like elbow macaroni. The texture of penne pasta completes this dish.
We didn’t change the sauce. The sauce we use is still store bought and is usually either Roasted Garlic and Herb, or Tomato Basil and Garlic. Once the meat is done cooking, I add one jar of sauce to the meat and bring it to a soft boil while stirring. After mixing that with the noodles, I mix in the second jar.
And that’s it.
Like I said, the preparation doesn’t change, but the flavor does. Sausage Penne-Ghetti is one of those dishes I’ve been making for so long that I could do it while sleeping. In truth, we make it more than we make regular spaghetti. We just enjoy it more and maybe your family will, too.
Another variation we like is Skillet Lasagna, but that dish takes a bit longer to make.
Does your family eat spaghetti often? How do you change it up?
Let me know in the comments!
- 1 1/2 lbs Ground Sausage: Regular
- 16 oz Penne Pasta
- 2 24 oz jars Spaghetti Sauce
- Boil water and cook Penne pasta according to box instructions
- Cook Ground Sausage thoroughly. Drain excess fat.
- Add one jar of Spaghetti Sauce to sausage and bring to a soft boil while stirring.
- Drain Pasta.
- Add Sauce and Sausage with Penne, mixing thoroughly
- Mix in second jar of Spaghetti Sauce
- Serve immediately.