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Three Cheese Pasta W/Sausage and Sundried Tomatoes


When thinking of dried foods the thought of a gourmet meal may not come to mind. However, a using a small amount of sun-dried tomatoes adds a burst of flavor to many recipes. Throughout history tomatoes have been featured heavily in Mediterranean cuisine, especially in Greek and Italian cooking where they are the base to a large percentage of traditional savory dishes. Aside from being a delicious fruit eaten on its own its very versatile with almost every other vegetable available to man, and sun-dried tomatoes are high in lycopene, antioxidants, and potassium, and vitamins A and C. They’re also low in sodium and calories, and free of saturated fat and cholesterol. Sun-dried tomatoes are lipophilic, which means that cooking them with some fat, like olive oil, actually increases their nutritional value.


These dried, concentrated vessels of flavor have enjoyed a popularity boost in the United States in the past couple of decades, initially as a gourmet item but fast becoming a favorite of home cooks being added to everything, salads, soups, dips and dehydrated goodies.




Let Them Take A Leading Role In Your Next Dish





2 lb Italian sausage

1 package 3-4 oz sun-dried tomatoes

2 Tbsp olive oil


3 large garlic cloves, finely minced

2 tablespoon fresh basil


1 cup half and half

1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup freshly grated asiago cheese


12 oz penne pasta

3/4-1 cup reserved cooked pasta water

1-2 tsp red pepper flakes, to taste.

2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper

salt, to taste




Julienne slice sun-dried tomatoes and mince garlic; set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil, add salt and cook pasta according to instructions. Before draining pasta reserve some of the pasta water.


Using a large deep pan or skillet over high heat add oil


and then saute garlic and sun-dried tomatoes in 2 oil for a couple of minutes or until garlic is lightly browned. Remove from skillet  and set aside.


Add Italian sausage


cook until browned 


drain excess grease and add sun-dried tomatoes and garlic back to skillet.


Add half and half


and each of cheeses to the skillet and cook over medium high heat until the cheeses start to melt and begins to bubble.

Reduce to simmer and cook, constantly stirring, until a creamy sauce forms.

Add cooked pasta to the skillet and stir to combine.


Now start to add about 1/2 cup of the pasta water you reserved as by now he sauce has thickened, add more pasta water till you reach the desired thickness.


Add crushed red pepper flakes and season to taste with salt and pepper.



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About Dish With Clarissa

Clarissa Ellis grew up learning to cook with her mom. In a time where traditional home-cooked food was going out of style, Clarissa learned to love and make those simple 'comfort foods' and family favorites. As she grew - and her mom got busier with long work hours, Clarissa supported her mom by taking over most of the cooking duties around the home. By the time Clarissa started high school - she had absorbed her mother's approach to traditional, homestyle Italian dishes; and thanks to So Cal's great weather year round... a love of cooking on the grill. Fast forward 30 years and Clarissa has never stopped cooking. She continued to explore food, learning more from So Cal's amazing cultural variety, trying things out on her family and her friends... and always learning. Never content to merely cook a good meal, Clarissa developed the habit of talking sharing her ideas with family, friends and coworkers. After a lifetime of learning and experimenting, Clarissa's love affair with traditional Italian cooking, and 'comfort foods' has grown into a robust, creative and cross-cultural approach to cooking that still manages to remain 'accessible' to the rest of us. Now Clarissa brings her experience and her approach online through her blog - giving all of us a chance give ourselves, our friends and our family the benefits of a lifetime of passion and joy in cooking simply great meals.

5 responses »

  1. Looks delish! I made a similar pasta dish with wild boar the other night. It was beastfully good!


      • I made it up on the spot, so I have to think about what all I put in it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Here’s my recipe:

        Wild Boar Pasta

        1/2 pound ground wild boar
        1 large yellow onion chopped
        1 pound dry pasta of your choice
        1 6 oz can tomato paste (I use brands with no salt added)
        1 14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes (I use brands with no salt added)
        2 tablespoons of Italian herbs seasoning (thyme, marjoram, rosemary, oregano, basil, savory and sage)
        1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
        2 cloves chopped garlic or equivalent in garlic powder

        Optional ingredients
        1/2 cup roasted, copped hot green chiles or any amount of chopped jalapeños, habaneros or other hot pepper if you like it spicy.
        Grated or shredded cheddar or other semi-hard cheese to put on each serving.

        In a large frying pan or small stock pot, brown the ground wild boar. Add the chopped garlic and fry until very lightly brown. Add the copped union and fry the onion until clear, but still slightly crunchy. Add Italian herbs and cook until aromatic. stir in the tomato paste and tomato sauce until smoothly blended with the ground boar, garlic, onion an herbs; cook on low heat until the mixture starts to bubble.

        While the boar and tomato mixture is heating, boil the pasta. I cook the pasta until it is on the harder side of al dente so once mixed, the pasta wont get mushy when it’s refrigerated or thawed after being frozen.

        Drain the pasta and stir it into the ground boar and tomato mixture. Add chopped green chile or other spicy pepper. Remove from heat and serve.

        Add grated or shredded cheese to the servings if desired.


  2. I actually refused to eat sun-dried tomatoes in the 80’s, when they and basil pesto became trendy. I’m just obstinate that way. Fortunately I’ve mended my ways!! This is a wonderful pasta dish using sun-dried tomatoes! Personally I like to buy them packed i oil, because they’re already hydrated, plus you can use the infused oil. But of course you can hydrate the dry ones yourself, as you most likely know!



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