Food, Wine, Rock & Roll

Part food blog, part jam session

I got this recipe from an old friend.  It has been in my repertoire for quite some time now and it is a HUGE favorite in my household for a number of reasons.  It’s fairly quick and simple to make, uses inexpensive ingredients,  and it is wonderful as left-overs.  I like to make it early in the week or over a weekend so I can take a hearty home cooked meal with me to work, reheat it in the microwave, and it still tastes great.  If you don’t have the time to chop all the vegetables, you can easily use pre-chopped or canned items.


  • 1 lb Italian Sausage
  • 1 pkg rotini pasta, cooked
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1-2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 cup grated Romano or Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 pt. half & half
  • ground pepper to taste
  • cayenne pepper, dash
  • course salt to taste


In a large skillet, brown the sausage, crumble and set aside.

In the same skillet (needs to be large enough to hold remainder of ingredients, sausage, and pasta when everything is cooked), saute the onion in olive oil for 2 minutes.  Add garlic for 1 minute; add the mushrooms for 2 minutes; add the tomatoes, basil, oregano, ground pepper, cayenne pepper, and salt.  Cook for 2 minutes more.

Add half & half and cheese; stir together until the sauce is smooth

Add sausage and cooked noodles.

Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese

Artichoke hearts or sliced black olives may be added to this dish.


Because I got this recipe from a friend, I like to pair it with one of her favorite wines: Fat Bastard Shiraz.  It is a full bodied, sweeter red and it goes perfectly with the density of the sausage, cream, and Parmesan cheese in the dish.  This wine also adds a layer to this wonderful “comfort food” meal with its hint of peppery sweetness.


As I’ve already stated, this dish is comfort food.  It is simple, understated, hearty, and very, very delicious.  A meal such as this one is complemented most by music that matches its simplicity.  And because it has become a household staple, it must be paired with music which is also a favorite.  The two albums that meet all these requirements are Crosby, Stills, and Nash’s Deja Vu and Eric Clapton Unplugged.  The simplicity of the acoustic guitar paired with the musical genius of these artists never fails to hit the spot.

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