Creamy Venison Sausage & Basil Penne

I was very excited this week to receive some lovely venison sausage from a local Boston Bowhunter member. When asked what I could do in exchange I was only asked to pay it forward. And I will most certainly do so. When the day comes and my freezer is full, I look forward to sharing my bounty with others. On that note, here is the incredible recipe I used with my venison today. Enjoy.
Sausage Pasta
For the Sauce:
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (1.5oz, 42g)
  • 1 small onion, chopped fine
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped fine or put through the garlic press
  • 1 lb sweet or hot Italian venison sausage (454g) **see note**
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (or a mix of dried basil, thyme, marjoram, and oregano)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup chicken broth (8.3oz, 235g)
  • 1½ cups heavy cream (12.6oz, 357g)
  • ¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (2.6oz, 74g)
  • handful of fresh basil, sliced thin
  • salt and pepper to taste
For the Penne
  • 1 lb penne pasta (454g)
  • 1 tablespoon butter (.5oz, 14g)
For the Penne:
  1. Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil. Add the penne and cook until al dente. Drain and toss with butter.
For the Sauce:
  1. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat and sauté the onion and garlic until it is soft and translucent.
  2. Remove the sausage from casings and add to the pan. Cook until browned.
  3. Add Italian seasoning, bay leaf, chicken broth, and heavy cream. Let simmer on low for 15 minutes.
  4. Off the heat, stir in parmesan cheese, fresh basil, and salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Toss with hot buttered penne and serve immediately.
**If your sausage doesn’t contain fennel seed, toast ½ teaspoon fennel seeds in a pan until they become aromatic, then pound in a mortar and pestle and add to sausage.

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