Okay, but before we talk about Spicy Sausage Penne, I really feel like another issue needs to be addressed.
Today I took Grand Master H on a little outing. We had two missions. The first was to procure a birthday present for Famous Baby C. The second, and of course the real reason H was willing to go with me at all, to acquire yet another age inappropriate Lego thingy for His Lordship.
Like some amateur mom, I let Mr. I-AM-FOUR-NOW-I-CAN-DO-IT-MYSELF choose the gift he wanted to give her. After we established our budget (Barbie's absurd "Dream House" was out of the question) he made his choice. He chose this doll. Go ahead, check it out. I will give you a moment to be properly horrified.
When I was five, my heart's desire was a Barbie. I thought that I might actually die if I didn't get one. My mother had issues with giving her young impressionable daughter something so overtly sexual and, let's face it, stacked.
My mother was not of the Barbie generation. Her younger sisters had the original Barbie (the collector's item that I abused later on in my life, but that is another post entirely) that came with a wardrobe of wigs that would make Rachel Welch and Zsa Zsa Gabor drool. Barbie looked like a creepy cross-dresser with molded black eyelashes and too much indigo eye shadow not to appear trashy.
Instead of getting me a vampy sexpot, my mother opted for Barbie's largely androgynous younger sister, Skipper.
I hated Skipper. Skipper had dorky clothes, the bod of a 13 year old boy and no prospects in the getting laid department. I mean, for Pete's sake, she was a little kid. I was a little kid. There was no fantasy here AT ALL!!
Don't you just hate her? Yup, Malibu Skipper just doesn't do it. What kind of wild, drunken beach orgies would Skipper be involved in? I felt that Skipper needed to be tarted up a bit.
Turns out her tawny flesh was the perfect medium to receive ballpoint pen ink. Yup, way back in the 1970s I was rocking the Tattoo Barbie (okay stinking Skipper, but in my feverish little brain she was a Barbie, dammit). Skipper wasn't sporting some colorful Tramp Stamp, she was wearing that scary blue tattoo ink that you see on crusty old merchant marines that smell like cigarettes, booze and a splash of urine.
But I digress.
Mr. Smith was completely horrified that H would choose Mermaid Barbie with "body art" and pink strips of hair. I half expected him to ask where Barbie's Dream Double Wide Trailer was parked.
So, our little girl will have an age-inappropriate role model with a frightening Pamela Anderson bustline, "body art", and some pink weave. It could be worse, right? She will NEVER have a Lindsay Lohan with a gun-in-her-mouth doll. I don't care how much she begs!
Wait, does this mean my darling little boy is going to bring some inked-up busty stripper home at some point?
Okay, back to important stuff...like dinner items.
Spicy Sausage Penne
1 (8 oz) package spicy Italian sausage (Trader Joe's might actually set you on fire, but you can certainly opt for sweet sausage instead of spicy)
1 box of penne pasta (I used fortified) cooked according to package instructions.
2 Tablespoons olive oil
5 cloves of garlic, minced
crushed red pepper, to taste
1 can diced tomatoes (since I only had a small can, I used that, but we usually use a 28 oz. can)
1 jar roasted red peppers (I added these because I was not in possession of more tomatoes, but it tasted great!)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup fresh basil, minced
Broil sausage until thoroughly browned. Remove from oven and slice sausage. Return to broiler for a few more minutes after slicing it. Keep a close eye on it. At one point when I opened the oven, there were scary jets of grease shooting out of the links at the element. Ewww.
Saute garlic in olive oil, then add crushed red pepper.
Pulse tomatoes and peppers in food processor a few times and add mixture to oil mixture. Add sugar and salt. Simmer for about 5 minutes.
Adapted from Cooking Light, April 2010
Add sausage and basil to sauce. Toss with warm penne and serve with grated parmesan.