Good Morning America Recipes

Annie's Favorite Pasta

Cartwheel Pasta with Breakfast Sausage and Creamy Tomato Sauce

GMA Recipes Dinner
Difficulty: Easy
Cook Time: min

Sara Moulton, host of "Sara's Secrets" on the Food Network and executive chef for Gourmet, has a new cookbook out called "Sara's Secrets for Weeknight Meals." She demonstrated on "Good Morning America" how to prepare recipes from her latest collection.

When I told my sister Annie that I'd begun working on a new cookbook, she insisted that this time I had to include her all-time favorite pasta dish. Adapted from one of our most-loved Italian cookbooks, it is flavored with regular old breakfast sausages, tomatoes, and cream. In typical non-Italian fashion, I significantly increased the amount of sauce in the recipe, which will probably horrify all the Italian home cooks out there. But I see pasta as a vehicle for sauce, not the other way around.


  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces frozen breakfast sausage, sliced 1/4 inch thick (Note: do not defrost sausages before cutting them)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh sage, rinsed, dried, and chopped (or 1/4 teaspoon rubbed)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, rinsed and dried (or 1/3 teaspoon dried)
  • 2 cans chopped tomatoes (14 1/2 ounces each)
  • 1 pound rotelle (cartwheel or other shaped pasta)
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • Freshly milled black pepper
  • 1 1/2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, finely grated (about 1/2 cup)
  • Cooking Directions

    Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat until hot; reduce the heat to medium, add the sausage, and saute, stirring occasionally, until it is just cooked through, about 5 minutes. (Don't discard the fat released by the sausage.) Add the garlic, sage, and thyme; cook 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, reduce the heat to low, and simmer the sauce for 20 minutes.

    During the last 10 minutes, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the cream to the sauce and simmer just until the sauce has thickened slightly. Add salt and pepper to taste. Drain the pasta, reserving 2/3 cup of the cooking liquid. Stir the pasta cooking liquid into the sauce and toss with the drained pasta. Top each portion with some of the Parmigiano-Reggiano.

    Recipe copyright © 2005, Sara Moulton from her cookbook, Sara's Secrets for Weeknight Meals.

    Recipe Summary

    Main Ingredients: sausage, garlic, sage, thyme

    Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course, Pasta, Sauces and marinades

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