Don’t you just love one-dish meals? This is one of my favorites. Well, I suppose that’s not quite true …the whole one-dish thing. Actually, the pasta is cooked in a separate pot before joining the rest of the mix. But really, the rest is combined in a large pan. I use my Le Creuset deep sauté pan …it holds over four quarts and is pretty enough to move from the stove directly to the buffet table.
This is adapted from Giada de Laurentiis’ recipe which is featured in her cookbook, Everyday Pasta. The big change I made was to use our preferred mild Italian chicken sausage instead of the suggested hot Italian sausage. I’m sure it’s delicious with the additional spiciness …we just happen to really like chicken sausage.
One of the stand-out ingredients to be used is sun-dried tomatoes. I happened to have some of my homemade sun-dried tomatoes on hand, so I was able to use them. You can use any good quality jarred tomatoes and it will be fine. Just make sure they are packed in oil. You’ll be using some of that oil to sauté the sausage and veggies. It does add quite a bit of extra flavor to the finished dish.
When boiling the pasta, be sure you don’t overcook it. Try to time it so that you cook it one or two minutes less than what is directed on the package for al dente. It will continue to cook a bit when you mix it in with the sausage, veggies and broth.
While the mixture is simmering, prepare the final ingredients. They are added after the pan is removed from the heat, right before serving.
If you would like to serve this dish to your vegetarian friends, eliminate the sausage and replace it with portabella mushrooms. And use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. Either way, serve this pasta with a green salad and lots of crusty bread. You’ll have a hearty delicious meal.
rigatoni with sausage, artichokes & asparagus
Adapted from Everyday Pasta, by Giada de Laurentiis
Creamy, flavorful and hearty.
- 3/4 cup drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, sliced (reserve oil)
- 2 tablespoons reserved oil from sun-dried tomatoes
- 1 pound Italian sausage, removed from casing
- 2 8-ounce packages frozen artichoke hearts
- 12 ounces asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 3/4 cups chicken broth or stock
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, for seasoning
- 12 ounces rigatoni or other tubular pasta
- 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil, plus more for optional garnish
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, cubed
Heat reserved oil in a large, heavy frying pan (of at least 4 1/2 quart capacity) over medium heat.
Add sausage and cook until browned, breaking meat into bite-size pieces with a fork, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer sausage to a bowl.
Add artichokes, asparagus and garlic to the pan and sauté over medium heat until garlic is tender, about 2 minutes.
Add broth, wine and sun-dried tomatoes. Simmer over medium-high heat until sauce reduces slightly, about 8 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring often. Follow suggested timing on the package but reduce the al dente time by 1 minute. Drain pasta.
Add pasta and sausage to artichoke mixture. Finish cooking over low heat while gently stirring, until sauce is almost absorbed by the pasta, for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
Stir in the parmesan cheese, basil, parsley and mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle with additional grated parmesan and fresh basil, if desired. Offer additional grated parmesan with each serving.