Accidental pasta with Italian sausage

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I had dinner planned to a tee. I made fried chicken, sweet potato mash and broccoli for my daughter and me, her two play-date buddies and their mother. I didn’t account for the extra guests that turned up, unannounced.

There wasn’t enough for all of us.

I hit the pantry and the fridge. A box of farfalle (shell) pasta, some sweet Italian sausages, and I reckoned I could muster up extra dinner before the chicken got cold.

I ended up eating the pasta. So did the guests. So did the kids.

Anyone for some left over fried chicken?


  • Farfalle pasta (or pasta of your choice)
  • A couple of shallots, finely chopped
  • A crushed garlic clove or two
  • A handful of Italian sausages (sweet or spicy, I guess)
  • A handful of frozen peas
  • A little white wine (if you have some lying around)
  • Fresh sage, finely sliced or chopped
  • Some cream
  • Grated Parmesan


  • Large pasta pot
  • Skillet


  1. Prep all your vegetables and de-skin the sausages (run a sharp knife down one side, pull back the skin and scrape out the meat into a bowl).
  2. Throw the pasta into the water (should cook in about 11 minutes).
  3. Meanwhile, sweat the shallots in a little olive oil.
  4. When they are nice and soft throw in the garlic and stir around for a minute or so.
  5. Add the sausage and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring as you go.
  6. De-glaze the pan with a little white wine.
  7. Throw in a handful of peas. Stir.
  8. Add a cup or so of cream and a handful of Parmesan.
  9. Season and throw in some sage.
  10. Drain the pasta and combine with the sauce. Be sure to hold on to a little of the cooking water which you can add to the mix.
  11. Serve with a little more sage sprinkled over, some cracked black pepper and more cheese.

What you should know

When I drain the pasta, I balance a colander on a bowl in the sink. That way I can be sure to collect a little of the cooking water which I return to the dish to loosen the sauce. Maybe it’s something to do with the starch in the water, but it makes a big difference!

Also, I typically return the pasta to its pot and add a glug of olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt before adding it to the sauce.

Re: Accidental pasta with Italian sausage

What a great story. I am still learning how to be relaxed in the kitchen. Just a short time ago I would have panicked and ordered pizza. Great Grub has given me inspiration to go with the flow.

Re: Accidental pasta with Italian sausage

Thanks for the comment!

I think being relaxed is key… and to enjoy yourself too. Remember, the worst that can happen is that you wreck dinner (and learn from the mistakes)… and then you can always order that pizza!

Re: Accidental pasta with Italian sausage