An EASY comfort food recipe that's loaded with Italian flavors, ready in 20 minutes, made in ONE pot, and a family favorite!! No need to boil the pasta separately to save time and dishes!!
1 pound Italian sausage, casings removed (I used hot but sweet Italian sausage may be substituted)
2 to 4 tablespoons olive oil, as desired
3 to 5 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed
1 teaspoon oregano, optional
one 14.5-ounce can petite diced tomatoes (I used Hunt's no-salt added, tomato basil oregano flavor)
2 1/2 cups water
2 cups penne pasta (another small-shaped pasta may be substituted)
1/4 cup sour cream
2/3 to 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil, chiffonaded
freshly ground black pepper, to taste if desired
To a large skillet at least 4-inches deep or large pot, add the sausage, 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil if desired, and brown sausage over medium high heat. Crumble sausage as it cooks; do not drain.
Add the garlic, optional oregano, stir, and cook for about 1 minute, or until fragrant; stir nearly constantly.
Add the tomatoes, water, pasta, stir, cover the skillet with a lid, reduce the heat to medium low, and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until pasta is al dente and the water has incorporated. Stir once midway through cooking, paying attention to the pasta on the bottom of the skillet so it doesn't stick (this is why I recommend olive oil, even with sausage).
Turn off the heat, add the sour cream, and stir to combine.
Add the Parmesan cheese and stir to combine.
Add the basil, pepper if desired (I didn't need to add salt), and stir to combine. Serve immediately.
Storage: Recipe will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 4 months.