Friday, September 2, 2011

Fresh Garden Pasta with Chicken Sausage

     I love sausage! I could eat it all the time! So, when there is a sausage sale at the store, I stock up!

     At my last grocery store visit, I came across Johnsonville's new line of chicken sausages (on sale), so I decided to give 'em a whirl! I tried the Italian style sausage with Mozzarella and Romano cheese, Red pepper, onion and garlic. I was trying to figure out how to prepare these sausages, but I just couldn't decide. I usually make sausages with bell peppers, onions and some kind of sauce, like Marinara. It's really good, but I wanted to change things up a bit. I noticed that the back of the label had a recipe for the sausages on it, score! The only problem, it said to mix the dish with Italian dressing, and that just didn't sit well with me, as much as I like Italian dressing. So this recipe is adapted from the recipe on the back of the Johnsonville label.

     This recipe was really good! I was quite surprised because we usually like really sauce-y things. And I kept this recipe really light, hence the Fresh Garden part of the recipe title. I wanted the ingredients to really stand out and speak for themselves without being muddled by a heavy sauce. I had some fresh basil, but it was bad, so I didn't use it, but if it was still good, I woulda put that all over this dish. Instead, I settled for some dry herbs, which were just as great. Since there aren't very many items in this dish, it's important to use fresh ingredients so that it will taste really good.

3/4 lb Rigatoni 
1 pkg Johnsonville Italian Style Chicken Sausages, sliced
1 head of broccoli, trimmed down to small 1 inch trees (nice description right?!)
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into strips
1/2 pkg grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1 tsp crushed garlic, or 1 clove garlic
1 tsp crushed Red Pepper flakes
1 tsp McCormick Italian Herb Seasoning Grinder (seriously, this stuff is worth the purchase!)
dash of salt
Olive oil
Freshly grated Parmesan Cheese

Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Once boiling add your pasta.
The Rigatoni is al dente at 12 minutes, so at about 10 minutes add your Broccoli to the pasta.

Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over med-high heat add a tbsp of olive oil. 
Add the sausage and bell peppers, stir together.
Add the garlic, red pepper flakes and Italian seasonings, stir together. 

When you add the broccoli to the pasta, add the sliced grape tomatoes to the sausage mixture, along with 2 big swirls of olive oil. Stir together.

Drain the pasta and broccoli and add to the sausage mixture and stir to combine. Add more italian seasonings to taste, as well as salt. 

Dish it up and grate a healthy amount of Parmesan cheese over each dish. 

Super fresh, super simp, super delish!


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