Breadcrumbs and lemon zest offer a perfect finish for this hearty pasta dish that is sure to become a weeknight favorite.
- 8 ounces penne pasta, whole-wheat
- 4 quarts water, salted, boiling
- 6 ounces Italian sausage (removed from casings), spicy
- 4 ounces California walnuts, quartered
- 1 spring onion, medium, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 4 cups chicken stock, low-sodium
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
Walnut Panko Topping
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup California walnuts, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- Salt to taste
- Sauté sausage in olive oil breaking up into pieces until it is cooked through and browned--about 5 minutes. Then add the walnuts, spring onion, carrots and garlic. Continue cooking for approximately 3 minutes. Next deglaze the pan with the chicken stock and reduce by half.
- While the sausage mixture is cooking, begin cooking the whole-wheat penne. Place pasta in salted boiling water for 7 to 8 minutes. It should be cooked about 3/4 of the way, then add it to the sausage mixture and cook for another 4 minutes at a simmer.
Walnut Panko topping
- In a sauté pan add the butter and olive oil on medium-high heat. Next add the walnut and panko. Saute while mixing constantly for about 4 minutes, until the panko breadcrumbs turn a golden brown.
- Remove from heat, add the lemon zest and then top the pasta with the breadcrumb mixture.