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Sausage Tetrazzini

Tetrazzini, but make it penne and spice it up with Italian sausage.

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Thank god for jarred pasta sauce! My mom used to make chicken tetrazzini growing up all the time and when she started adding sausage to the party, it changed the way I craved this dish. As an Italian-American, my mom has been a pioneer of American staples like these. It’s not easy simply putting together a meal from the food already in your house. It’s an art form.

Building delicious entrees like this requires knowing your inventory, keeping your multipurpose items at arms reach, and making smart choices. From cream canned soups to jarred pasta sauces, these are some of the all-purpose items for any pantry-meal home. Leftover sausage? Welcome to the party.

Tetrazzini is an Italian-American recipe with many variations. Just remember when using store-bought sauce the creamy texture is already present, you’re just looking to enhance its flavor. This time we’re using that white gold, fresh Parmigiano cheese.

ALWAYS start a semi-homemade meal with fresh flavor enhancers like good-tasting olive oil, lots of minced fresh garlic, and onions of some sort. If I’m creating a spicier recipe such as curry, salsa, or tomato sauce, I’ll add fresh peppers to spruce up the flavor. This is what takes your meal to the next level.

Traditionally, tetrazzini is made with spaghetti, and not tubular-shaped pasta. Rules are meant to be broken. Penne has a great wide opening for lots of sauce to get stuck inside of, which means more sauce-y bites for us!

Regardless of the pasta shape. Reserving the salty water is your best friend in any pasta recipe, especially when you’re using a pasta tube. Salty water helps to distribute the sauce throughout the pasta without diluting the flavor of the sauce. Don’t neglect your pasta water.

I LOVE the way this non-traditional caramelized onion and sausage tetrazzini came out. I would even add sautéed bell peppers to the mix to give it that Chicago-style sausage and pepper flare. Making this again, I would buy TWO of the store-bought alfredo sauces or use a creamy store-bought soup to amplify the creaminess in this recipe.

Yield(s): Serves 8 - 10

15m prep time

22m cook time

Rated 4.0 out of 5
Rated by 1 reviewers

Allergens: Milk, Gluten

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you're making mealtime meaningful.
100% of the Share to Care sponsor fees fund meals for families in need. Learn More
  • 12 oz. penne pasta
  • 1/2 cup reserved pasta water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
  • 12 oz. Italian sausage links
  • 1 Vidalia onion, sliced
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 15 oz. jar Alfredo sauce (Buitoni, Ragu, Classico, Raos, etc)
  • 8 oz. bag shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 3/4 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 1/2 cup milk
  1. Preheat the oven to 400° F.
  2. Cook pasta in salted boiling water until al dente, reserving 1/2 cup of salted pasta water. Drain pasta and set aside.
  3. Cook sausage in a large saute pan over medium-high heat with olive oil. Cook until deeply browned. Remove from the pan, and cut into slices.
  4. Caramelize the onions in the sausage pan with the remaining olive oil. Cook until the onions are translucent and browned.
  5. Add minced garlic to the caramelized onions and cook for an additional minute.
  6. Add alfredo sauce from the jar to the pan, then add the milk and reserved pasta water to the alfredo jar to get all the sauce. Turn the heat to low and let the sauce simmer for 2 minutes.
  7. Add cooked pasta, sliced sausage, and grated parmesan to the pan.
  8. Pour half of the pasta into a 9x13 dish and top with half of the mozzarella, and repeat with remaining.
  9. Bake for 15 minutes covered in aluminum foil, then brown the cheese for the last 5 - 7 minutes.