Rigatoni with Spicy Chicken Sausage

Rigatoni with Charred Cherry Tomatoes, Spicy Chicken Sausage and Wilted Spinach


Serves 4

Non-Fat Cooking Spray

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 T aged balsamic vinegar
  • 1 t fresh thyme
  • 1 t fresh oregano chopped
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 8 oz spicy chicken sausages - 2 to 3 fully cooked (Try Al Fresco chicken sausages)
  • 4 cups fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts or walnuts
  • 8 oz whole grain rigatoni
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan reggiano
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Generously season with salt. Follow directions to cook rigatoni until al dente. Reserving 1 cup of pasta water. Return cooked rigatoni to pot and keep covered.

While pasta is cooking, roast raw nuts on cookie sheet in oven for about 10 minutes, shaking halfway through, until golden brown. Check after 8 minutes to make sure they don’t burn.

Heat a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Spray with cooking spray. Cook chicken sausages about 7 minutes, turning frequently, until golden brown. Remove from skillet and turn heat to high. Cut sausages into large bites.

Toss cherry toms with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, fresh herbs and salt and pepper to taste. When the skillet is smoking hot, add the tomato mixture and cook until the tomatoes are lightly charred and about to burst, 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add in the spinach, chopped chicken sausages and 1 cup of reserved pasta water. Gently stir until spinach wilts, about another minute or so.

Toss with rigatoni and divide amongst four plates. Season with a few twist of fresh ground pepper and garnish with toasted pine nuts and parmesan cheese. Serve a with some sliced whole grain bread and a nice glass of Malbec.

Bon appétit!


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Spaghetti With Walnuts and Anchovies

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The dish is traditionally part of a meatless Christmas Eve dinner. If you can find freshly harvested walnuts, they’ll make this pasta even better: