Penne with Italian Sausage + Creamy Tomato Sauce

My mom has been making this pasta for as long as I can remember. I’m fairly certain that I’ve asked her to make it for it for most of my birthday dinners and I will stand by the fact that if I were ever on death row, this would be my requested last meal. So when I moved into my very first big-girl apartment with a real kitchen, I knew I had to make it.

But the thing is, I haven’t eaten pasta in months. According to all the photo evidence I have, the last time I ate pasta was a plate of spaghetti + meatballs in September of last year. You know, because of the whole low-carb thing. But then I was introduced to Banza, a company that makes pasta out of chickpeas. That means more protein + less carbs than regular pasta, so I figured I would at least give them a shot.

I’ve made some changes to my mom’s original recipe, but most of it has stayed the same.

Penne with Italian Sausage + Creamy Tomato Sauce



1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium white onion, diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 pound sweet Italian sausage

2/3 cup dry white wine

1-14 ounce can diced peeled tomatoes

4 ounces cream cheese

1/2 cup chopped parsley

1 pound Banza Penne

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese


1. Melt butter and oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

2. Add onion and garlic. Sauté until until browned and tender, about 7 minutes.

3. Add Italian sausage and cook until completely browned.

4. Drain any excess drippings from skillet. Add wine and boil on medium-high heat until almost all liquid evaporates, about 3 minutes.

5. Add tomatoes and simmer 2 minutes.

6. Add cream cheese. Stir until fully melted + incorporated.

7. Add chopped parsley and Parmesan.

8. Boil pasta according to the directions on the box. Drain.

9. Top pasta with sauce + a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

I chose to make this with Banza chickpea pasta, but my mom would use regular penne. To each their own. Whatever you choose to make it with, this pasta dish is guaranteed to impress anyone. In fact, I’ve never met anyone that doesn’t like it.

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