There isn’t much in this world more comforting to me than a big plate of warm pasta. I was on a pasta kick for a long time. The past few months though, not so much. That needed to change. Pasta is so quick and easy and almost always makes for a fulfilling and memorable meal. So who do I turn to find a pasta recipe to add to my weekly menu? Giada de Laurentiis, of course. I happen to love sausage, adore artichokes, and crave asparagus so this dish jumped out of the page at me. Luckily once finished the pasta jumped out of it’s dish (and into my mouth) too.
Taste: Like a pasta dish from your favorite Italian restaurant. Slightly spicy, rich, salty, fresh, addicting.
Texture: Rigatoni might just be my favorite pasta shape. I love the firm bites of asparagus and pasta along with the light sauce and chunks of sausage.
Ease: Takes less than a half hour, only dirties two pots.
Appearance: The bright shades of green make this dish beautiful.
Pros: This meal is both simple enough for a weeknight dinner and elegant enough to serve to company.
Cons: While the prep work isn’t difficult, there are a few ingredients that need attention. Enlist another pair of hands to make it go faster and smoother! Also, the dish doesn’t keep well for leftovers.
Would I make this again? Yes.
Rigatoni with Sausage, Artichokes, and Asparagus
Adapted from Everyday Pasta
Note: to amp up the healthiness in this dish, switch to whole-grain pasta and chicken sausage.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pound hot Italian sausage, casings removed
- 1 8-ounce can artichoke hearts
- 1 cup asparagus, trimmed and cut in 1-inch pieces
- 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 3/4 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 12 ounces rigatoni, or other tubular pasta
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
- salt and pepper
Heat the oil in a large, heavy frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook until browned, breaking up the meat into bite-size pieces with a fork, about 8 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the sausage to a bowl. Add the artichokes, asparagus, and garlic to the same skillet, and saute over medium heat until the garlic is tender, about 2 minutes. Add the broth and wine. Boil over medium-high heat until the sauce reduces slightly, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta in boiling water until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Drain the pasta.
Add the pasta, sausage, 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, basil and parsley to the artichoke mixture. Toss until the sauce is almost absorbed by the pasta. Season to taste with salt & pepper. Serve, passing the additional parmesan cheese alongside.