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What's 4 Dinner?

Penne with Sausage and Asparagus

Hi, this is Susie, co-owner of Pastini Pastaria and I’d like to share one of my family’s favorite recipes with you. It’s an elegant and slightly rich pasta, perfect for a weekend dinner, even when company comes. I like it with a simple butter lettuce and radish salad dressed with a tart vinaigrette, and warmed ciabatta bread. For wine I’d pick a Lugana, an Italian white made from Trebbiano grapes that is a crisp and refreshing counterpoint to the creamy sauce. My family loves it and I hope yours does as well!

Rushed for time? Stop by one of our six neighborhood bistros and let us do the cooking. As a What’s 4 Dinner member, we’d like to offer you a $7 Off Voucher as our thanks for giving us a try.

Buon Appetito,

- Susie B.




25 mins


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage…bulk or link (remove from casings if using link sausage)
  • 1/2 pound asparagus, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Generous pinch of salt
  • 1 pound penne
  • 1 cup reserved pasta water
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese


  1. Trim the top 4 inches of the asparagus and cut into 2 pieces. Steam the asparagus for 3 minutes. Cool using cold water. Set aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta.
  3. In a large non-stick skillet, heat olive oil and butter over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and thyme, stirring often until shallots are soft…about 4 minutes.
  4. Add the sausage and cook, breaking up the sausage into small pieces with a wooden spoon until sausage is cooked through…about 6-7 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low.
  5. Add pasta to the boiling water and cook according to instructions on the package. Reserve 1 cup pasta water before draining.
  6. Add heavy cream, generous pinch of salt, asparagus and parmesan cheese to the sausage and cook for 2 – 3 minutes over medium heat and mixture just begins to boil.
  7. Drain the pasta in a colander.
  8. Add drained pasta to sausage cream mixture and combine. Add reserved pasta water if desired to moisten pasta to desired consistency.
  9. Divide into 4 bowls and serve immediately.

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