store sample sausage pesto penne

Stores give away free samples with good reason. The customer likes the sample. The customer may buy the sample product. A product that otherwise might never have gotten any consideration. If the product is food, and tastes pretty good, this is food seduction in the name of marketing. It must be cost effective or Costco wouldn't be constantly trying to tempt us as we fight our way through the hunter/gathering hordes of discount shoppers to make our way to the checkout lines. Normally we are not big sausage people, but for some reason bob went for the sausage sample. It had a heavy dose of internal garlic, and was made from chicken and turkey, so no red meat involved. The garlic hit hooked the deal. bob convinced ani to give it a try and picked up a package. Naturally it was a too big for two people—Costco usually markets BIG—so we gave half of the sausages away to the in-laws and split the remaining half again in half, one part to use, the other to freeze for another day.

Then came the question of what to do with the sausages to work them into a well balanced meal. Pasta would be the natural answer, but ani is trying to lose a few pounds by aiming for low bad carb intake. Luckily Trader Joe's has come to the rescue with low carb penne pasta—80% less carbs than the usual stuff, plus claims about fiber and protein (it's soy based) and imported from Italy too. So we go for the combo, throwing in some Trader Joe veggie pesto for a quick sauce. Some purists would argue that non-basil-based pesto is not pesto. We are not purists.


2 T olive oil
4 links sausage (about 14oz), cut in thin slices crosswise
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 [6.7oz = 190g] jar veggie pesto
12 oz penne pasta
2 T fresh parsley, chopped
freshly ground black pepper to taste
freshly ground parmigiano on each serving.


  1. Start the pasta water boiling and then salt and dump in the pasta and cook until al dente. Meanwhile...
  2. Cut up the sausages and ready the garlic. A little extra, why not.
  3. Sauté the sausage in the olive oil, browning it and cooking through a bit with the extra garlic added.
  4. Dump in the veggie pesto sauce and mix it up. Heat through.
  5. Get the fresh parsley ready.
  6. When the pasta is done, drain it and combine in the sauce pot. Mix in the parsley and black pepper.
  7. Serve with some parmigiano grated over each portion.


  1. "Chef Bruce Aidells" Smoked Turkey and Chicken Sausage with Sundried Tomatoes and Basil (that must be where the pesto came to mind), item #80378: fully cooked, just grill or bake or sauté 8-10 minutes over medium heat (don't overcook), courtesy of Costco, or some suitable equivalent product. 3 lb package with 14 links in the Costco size. But apparently also comes in normal sizes.
  2. Trader Giotto's Pesto Verdure, mixed vegetable pesto, product of Italy.
  3. Bella Vita Low Carb Penne Rigate Pasta, product of Italy imported by Bella Vita Foods: defatted soy flour, pasteurized egg white, rice flour, wheat gluten, isolated soy proteins. 80% less carbs, all natural high fiber, high protein, GMO free (?), cholesterol free. Best if used by July 07 2006! Great, a 3 year shelf life.
  4. Very photogenic.


ssssgpne.htm: 18-aug-2006 [what, ME cook? © 1984 dr bob enterprises]