I substituted hot Italian sausage for the meat in this sauce and added leeks, peppers fresh tomatoes. The herbed panko breadcrumbs add a crispy finish and great flavor. Sauteed he shrimp is a great final addition, but not essential to make this dish work.  Prepare a green salad alongside and dinner is served. 


1 lb curly pasta or penne

1 lb hot Italian sausage, casing removed

1 dozen jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 tablespoon flour

Old bay seasoning, to sprinkle on shrimp

3 leeks, sliced thinly 

3 cups thinly sliced mini peppers, combo of red, yellow and orange

1 cup sliced cherry tomatoes, red and yellow, sliced in half

4 cloves chopped garlic

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 cup dry white wine

1 cup panko

4 tablespoons chopped herbs, I used combo of parsley, Basil and Chives

2 tablespoons basil chiffonnade for garnish

1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving 

Kosher salt and pepper to taste

For Ragu: In a small skillet, melt a tablespoon of butter and on low heat, add panko stirring constantly until golden (about 10 minutes). Take off the heat and allow and once cooled, add chopped herbs and Parmesan, mix and set aside.  In a separate large skillet, heat oil and brown sausage on medium high heat, breaking up pieces with back of spoon until cooked thoroughly. Add another tablespoon of oil, lower heat and add leeks garlic and peppers until vegetables become tender.  Deglaze pan with wine scraping up brown bits  and add tomatoes. Stir and simmer covered until tomatoes wilt and start releasing their juices about 15 minutes. Keep warm while preparing shrimp and pasta. 

For Shrimp: Heat a nonstick pan with a tablespoon of olive oil and a tablespoon of butter on medium high.  Sprinkle shrimp with a light dusting of flour and old bay seasoning. Sauté for about 2 minutes a side until crispy and cooked through. 

Assemble Pasta:  Cook pasta according to package directions to al dente.  Drain and toss with remaining melted butter and olive oil. Toss with heated ragu, place in serving dish, sprinkle herbed breadcrumbs on pasta and top with sauteed shrimp and garnish with basil. Serve immediately with more Parmesan on the side if desired.