I may have thrown my dad’s cooking a little bit under the bus before, when I was talking about his Indian food phase. Truth be told, I learned most of what I know about cooking and baking from my parents, and they had a homemade meal on the table every night of the week for my brother and me while we were growing up, so I really had no right to turn up my nose or complain. That’s not to say I didn’t complain (and I still tease them when they tell me things like that they made vegan Philly cheesesteaks), but ultimately, I’ve always been grateful for their culinary efforts. Thus I thought it’d be nice to share one of their recipes that has always been a family favorite – penne al boccalone! Just before my senior year in college, I went up to Seattle to visit my brother and we made this for dinner together. Afterward, we found out that our parents had also made penne that same night – a family favorite, indeed!
To be honest, I’m not sure why it’s called “al boccalone”, since as far as I can tell, boccalone is a type of meat or sausage, and the recipes I’ve seen for penne al boccalone are vegetarian. Hmm. Can anyone explain this to me? I have no Italian heritage and the closest I come to speaking Italian is Spanish, so I don’t feel super authoritative on the matter. Anyway, I decided to throw in some sausage since there isn’t really any other source of protein, but feel free to leave it out or use veggie sausage if you’re trying to eat vegetarian or vegan. The tomato-based sauce for penne al boccalone is lighter than a traditional marinara sauce, but full of flavor regardless – the green chiles and parsley add a nice element of freshness, making this a perfect pasta for springtime!
I gave Phoebe a small bite or two of sausage while I was cooking. She came over later while I was taking photos to see if she could either snag another or convince me to give her one by melting me with her big brown puppy eyes. Unsuccessful…because I know a certain little puppy who is getting her own whole adoptiversary cake veeeery soon (stay tuned!).
7/16/18 edit: for the updated and simplified recipe, see this post! Please note that the updated recipe does not include sausage, so if you’d like to, simply cook 8 ounces sausage (casing removed) until browned and then stir it into the pasta at the end.
Yay pasta! I haven’t seen your blog lately, so I missed when you changed the layout and recipe card printouts. I love it! Your blog and pictures look really good!! Keep posting. One day soon I’ll go through your blog and print the recipes out. Do the older recipes have the card print option?
Thanks, I’m glad you like the “makeover”! The older recipes don’t have easy print options yet – I started with the most recent and am working my way back, so that eventually, they all will 🙂
Asiya @ Chocolate and Chillies says
Such a blessing to have home cooked meals every night. That is how we grew up as well and a much healthier way to grow than getting take out and eating out. Pasta looks delicious and can see why it’s a family favourite!
It really is – and now that I’m off and living on my own, I realize how much effort it takes to cook a homemade meal every night! Thanks for stopping by 🙂
Looks like a great meal, I really enjoy recipes with a story. So nice you always had a home cooked meal every night growing up. That’s a tuff act to follow. Happy week-end to you!
Thanks! Me too – I love reading about the stories that people associate with certain foods. Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you’re enjoying your weekend as well 🙂
Sugar and Cinnamon says
Mmm this looks so tasty! Penne is my favourite pasta by far!
Thanks! It’s definitely one of my favorites as well 🙂
Butter, Basil and Breadcrumbs says
Oh… my oh my… this looks amazing. I love pasta… and this is right up my alley! Lovely recipe, I’m printing it out as I’m typing, and will be trying this in the very near future! Great post! I look forward to catching up on your blog! 🙂
Thanks so much for your kind words! I hope you enjoy the pasta 🙂
Alexandra Aimee says
This looks delicious!
— Alex at Cashmere Kangaroo
Thanks, and thanks for stopping by!