Don’t you hate that phrase? I only use it because this is a recipe that has been stuck to the side of my fridge patiently waiting for me to upload it for quite some time.
Rigatoni and Sausage
-10 oz rigatoni pasta
-salt (kosher preferably, of course)
-olive oil (not extra virgin, for the job it’s doing, regular o.o. works just fine)
-6 chicken pesto or chicken with sun-dried tomato and basil sausages (I used the latter)
-1 c slivered red onion
-1 c slivered yellow bell pepper (or if the price for yellow bell peppers is ungodly where you live, as it is for me, red is just fine-wouldn’t recommend green though as they’re not as sweet)
-2 (14 oz) cans traditional Italian sauce (or just 1 if you prefer your pasta less sauce-y)
-2 (14 1/2 oz) cans diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano
-grated Parmesan cheesefor garnish
1. Preheat an indoor or outdoor grill or preheat oven to 400 degrees F (I used my oven for this part).
2. Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until tender but still firm, according to package directions. Drain and toss with enough olive oil to prevent sticking (it shouldn’t take much at all). This can be made 8 to 10 hours in advance and refrigerated (for those of you who have spare time in the morning to start prepping dinner, I guess?)
3. Grill or roast the sausages on an indoor or outdoor grill for 20 minutes, turning several times. Or roast in the oven for 20 minutes. Cool and refrigerate until ready to assemble the dish (again, if you’re getting dinner ready in the morning. If you’re not, ignore that last bit). Cut into bite-size pieces just before reheating.
4. In a large saute pan coated with a small amount of olive oil, saute the onion and bell pepper with cooked sausage pieces until onions and peppers are just wilted.
5. Add about 1/3 to 1/2 of the sauce and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Transfer to a stockpot, then heat the remaining sauce in the same saute pan and transfer to the stock pot when hot.
6. Place the stockpot over medium heat and add the pasta to heat and combine all the ingredients. Divide into serving bowls, garnish with Parmesan and serve immediately.
Makes 6 servings.
This recipe is adapted from one that was in the November 8, 2006 Dallas Morning News. It’s a really good basic and a bit rustic pasta dish that doesn’t require making tomato sauce for those of you that are freaked out by making your own or just don’t have the time (I fall into the not-enough-time category most days…one of these days I’m going to make a giant batch). This could be adapted to use Italian sausage-preferably hot-if the home chef so chose.