Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Where You Taste The Love

Rigatoni With Sweet Italian Chicken Sausage


I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted a recipe, with work and remodeling the back yard it’s been hard for me to find the time. I’m here now and this is my Rigatoni With Sweet Italian Chicken Sausage.


Stuffing (2)




grape tomatoes

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Sweet Italian Sausage


Olive Oil



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Colander-Style Spoon

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Sweet Basil (2)





Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time:
Total Time:
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Equipment: 1 rimmed baking sheet pan, colander spoon, 1 (6-quart) saucepot, 1 (12-inch) sauté pan with a glass lid, large rondeau pot (deep-sided frying/braising pan with a lid), 1 (12-inch) cast-iron skillet, chef’s knife, colander spoon

2 pounds (10 links) of sweet Italian chicken sausage
3 1/2 cups of chicken broth, low sodium
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
2 tablespoons of fennel seeds
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 orange bell pepper, diced
1 large sweet onion, diced
2 zucchini, diced (sliced into half-moons and quartered)
1 pint of grape tomatoes, halved
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups of dry white wine, Pino Grigio
1 1/2 pounds (1 1/2 boxes) of (Barilla) Rigatoni
2 cups of starchy pasta cooking liquid
2 tablespoons of fresh oregano leaves, roughly chopped
1/4 cup of fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped plus basil leaves for garnish
1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated plus more for serving
1 1/2 boxes (1 1/2 pounds) Rigatoni, Barilla

To start, pour 1/2 a cup of chicken broth into a large sauté pan. Using a fork prick 3 sets of holes in each of the sausage links on both sides. Arrange the links in the pan and cover. Over medium heat, bring the sausages up to a simmer/low boil, turning halfway through, cook for 10 minutes. Transfer the links to a plate and discard any of the cooking liquid left in the pan. Set the pan on a back burner (out of the way) until needed.

In the meantime, prep all the vegetables by dicing or mincing according to the ingredient list above. Place onto a rimmed baking sheet pan, set aside.

Preheat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Transfer the links to the skillet. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, getting a good sear on all sides of the links. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Allow the links to cool slightly before slicing them on the bias, approx. 1/2-inch thick.

In the same pan sauté pan, over medium heat, add olive oil, tomato paste, and fennel seeds. Cook until the fennel seeds begin to *bloom and become fragrant.

To the pan add the diced onions, stirring frequently, until they soften and become translucent around 2 to 3 minutes. Next, add the diced peppers, stir to combine. Add the zucchini and minced garlic, again stir to combine. Season with Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, stirring frequently until the vegetables soften, another 3 to 5 minutes.

To release all the bits from the sausage and veggies from the bottom of the pan, *deglaze with 1 1/2 cups of white wine. Using the back of a wooden spoon, scrape the bits from the bottom of the pan. Allow the wine to reduce by half, 2 to 3 minutes.

Transfer everything from the sauté pan to a large rondeau (deep-sided frying pan).

Still over medium heat add the halved grape tomatoes, sliced Italian sausage, and remaining chicken broth, stir to combine. Continue to simmer while the pasta is cooking.

In a large saucepot, on the back burner, filled with salted boiling water, drop the pasta. Cook just under al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes. Using a colander spoon, transfer the pasta to the rondeau. Gently toss to combine. Reduce the heat to medium-low, continue to simmer together, occasionally stirring, for 15 minutes.

Turn off the heat. Add the chopped herbs toss to combine.

Tip: The pasta will absorb a good amount of the broth. A good tip is to always reserve 2 cups of the starchy pasta cooking liquid to add to the dish if needed.

Finally, transfer everything to a big serving platter. Grate fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese all over the top. This is my Rigatoni With Sweet Italian Chicken Sausage.

*Boom: Blooming spices, or gently frying them in oil, is a quick way to deepen their flavor. Cook just until the spices smell nice and toasty.

*Deglaze: Dilute meat sediments in (pan) in order to make a gravy or sauce, typically using wine.

Garnish with some fresh basil and who wouldn’t want this for dinner.

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Melissa In LA, California


While Melissa was in LA, she stopped in at a few hot spots, One was Sage a plant-based bistro. Their style of food is Gourmet, Raw, Vegan, and Organic. Here’s a peek into this restaurant.




This is their vegan tuna sandwich.


The tuna is made from jackfruit, pretty interesting.


This is their sage avocado bruschetta and fried artichoke hearts.



Wow!, those dishes look so good, even for a meat-eater like myself, I would definitely love to try each one of those. For dinner, they all decided on French cuisine. Republique Restaurant in LA. This place is Amazing!!  Here is a look at this restaurant.




Here is a look at their menu.


This dish is the roasted broccoli and cauliflower salad at Republique.


Their Charcuterie Room is displayed for customers to see.


Growing up, my father did a lot of traveling for his job and had the opportunity to dine at some of the best restaurants all over the United States. I’m so happy that my daughter is able to do the same thing today.

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French Vanilla Cupcakes


I can’t say this enough, your local grocery store offers so many varieties of box cake mix to choose from and they’re all really good. The brand of cake mix I’m partial to is the Duncan Hines French Vanilla. All you have to do is to add a few of your own secret ingredients and Voila!

If you’re looking for an easy dessert to make, my French Vanilla Cupcakes will work in a pinch!

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 16 to 19 minutes
Decorating Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 49 minutes
Yields: 24 cupcakes
Equipment: 2 (12 ct.) non-stick muffin tin pans, 2 large mixing bowls, whisk, 2 small bowls, hand-held electric mixer, 1 (1-quart) saucepan

2 (16.5-ounce) boxes of Duncan Hines French Vanilla cake mix
Pinch of Kosher salt
6 large eggs, room temperature, divided
2/3 cup of vegetable oil, divided
2 cups of water, divided
1/2 cup of ricotta cheese, room temperature, divided
2 tablespoons of pure vanilla extract, divided

2 sticks (1/2 pound) of butter, unsalted and melted
1 cup of granulated sugar
1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.
Start by spraying the muffin tin pans, liberally, with a non-stick cooking spray. Lightly flour each of the muffin tins.

In a large mixing bowl add the eggs, Kosher salt, water, vegetable oil, pure vanilla extract, and ricotta cheese, mix to combine. Slowly add the cake mix into the wet ingredients whisking together until moistened, about 30 seconds.

Switch to a hand-held mixer. Beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Pour cake batter into the first muffin tin pan.

Repeat the process to make the second box of cake mix.

Bake in the center rack of the oven for 16 to 19 minutes. Note: Add 3 to 5 minutes to bake time for dark or coated pans. The cupcakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool cupcakes in the pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes before removing.

Melt 2 sticks of unsalted butter in a small saucepan. Transfer the melted butter to a small mixing bowl. In another bowl mix 1 cup of sugar with 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon, whisk to combine.

Take a cupcake and dip the top into the warm melted butter and then into the cinnamon-sugar mixture, place back onto the cooling rack. I promise you won’t be able to eat just one of my French Vanilla Cupcakes because they are so darn good.

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