The other day I was asked where my recipes have been - meaning there haven't been any here in a while. Well, my first thought was "Wow, that means I have at least one reader!" My second thought was, "Wow, it's been a long time since I've really made a home-cooked meal!"
We moved into our new house two weeks ago, but during the first 8 days in the house we couldn't even enter the kitchen because of work being done. Eight days in a house with no kitchen was pretty brutal! I know that the norm is to unpack the kitchen first and the rest can just fall into place. I guess we did things a little backwards as the kitchen was pretty much last, and while I'm so glad to finally be able to use the kitchen, and I love the end result, I'm still navigating and trying to remember where I put things.
Tonight is a home-cooked meal kind of night. We're all home for the most part, it's a beautiful day and a cool touch of Fall in the air. The perfect night for a good pasta. So, here is one of my favorite Pasta dishes and also a favorite Fall side dish. (Although tonight, I think I will have the Spaghetti Squash in place of the pasta). Either way you can't go wrong here!
Pasta with Spicy Chicken Sausage
1 pound rigatoni
1 pound cooked Cajun chicken sausages
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1 purple onion, thinly sliced
3 to 4 cloves garlic, chopped
Ground black pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine or chicken stock (optional if needed)
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 jar of your favorite marinara sauce
Handful chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup fresh basil, 10 leaves, torn or shredded
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus some to pass at table
Place a pot of water on the stove to boil for pasta. When the water boils, salt it and cook pasta to al dente, with a bite to it.
Prick sausages with a fork. Add olive oil to the skillet and cook sausages until brown,, 5-6 minutes.
Remove sausage from the pan. Add a little more olive oil and add pepper, onion, garlic and salt and pepper. Cook until soft and add sausages back to pan. Cook all together until peppers and onions are tender and sliced sausages are crisp at edges then deglaze the pan with white wine or chicken stock. (Sometimes I skip the deglaze step and it's still all good!) Stir in crushed tomatoes and jar of marinara sauce. Bring to a bubble and reduce to low.
Drain rigatoni and return to warm pot. Add salt and pepper, parsley and basil and half of the Parmigiano, a couple of handfuls, stir to combine.
You can add the sausage sauce to the pasta and stir to combine OR you can serve separately and top the pasta with the sauce. Add a little parmigiano on top to serve.
** Often times we grill the sausage instead of cooking it in the pan. It gives The Husband something to do to contribute to the dinner!**
Half the Spaghetti Squash down the middle.
Scrape out the seeds from the interior. Drizzle the inside with a little olive oil. Turn face down in a glass baking dish. Add a little water to the dish. Bake at 400 in the oven until done.
Take out of the oven and scrape the insides with a fork to make "spaghetti". Season with salt, pepper and parmesan cheese. I just LOVE this stuff!!
What's your favorite Fall food? Favorite Fall side dish?