While traditional red sauce is great, this pasta relies on the slightly more intense flavor of sun dried tomatoes for its flavor base.  It also has some wine, stock and cream to round it out.  At my local market, Central Market, I can buy some very tender sun dried tomatoes that are a perfect texture and not marinated in oil.  I prefer these tomatoes to the jarred variety. For the sausage, I like to use a sweet Italian sausage and add some fennel seeds to highlight the flavors.  Fresh basil at the end adds a nice pop of color and bright flavor to finish the dish.

Serves 4-6


  • 16 oz paccheeri (or any large tubular pasta)
  • 1 lb sweet (mild) Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 2 medium shallots, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 11/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan, more for serving
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup julienned sun dried tomatoes (drain oil if using marinated tomatoes)
  • 1 bunch fresh basil, julienned, plus more for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • kosher salt and pepper


In a heavy bottom skillet, heat the olive oil on medium heat. Place sausage in skillet and brown, breaking up with the back of a spoon, so it is in small pieces.  Once cooked through, remove from skillet with a slotted spoon and set aside in a plate.  Add the butter to the skillet and lower heat a bit and add the shallot, garlic and tomato paste, sautéing until fragrant and translucent (a few minutes). Season with a bit of salt and pepper and add fennel seed. Next add white wine, scraping up all brown bits.  Add stock, cream and sun dried tomatoes and mix well to combine, stir in parmesan. Adjust seasonings to taste. Keep sauce at low simmer while you prepare pasta to al dente according to package directions.  Reserve about a cup of pasta liquid.  Drain pasta and just before adding it to sauce, stir sausage and basil back into sauce then combine the whole mixture with the pasta stirring well.  If pasta is dry, you can add some reserved cooking water to loosen the sauce.  Divide pasta in serving bowls, and serve with extra parm and garnished with fresh basil.  Enjoy!