Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Rigatoni With Sweet Italian Sausage And Zucchini

on April 30, 2015

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This dish is one of Steve’s favorites. Loaded with sweet Italian sausage, sweet bell peppers, zucchini,, canned diced tomatoes, and shavings of Parmigiano- Reggiano cheese. The dish comes together with it’s garlic and white wine sauce that’s light and flavorful.

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Preparing all the veggies for this dish in a small dice. Onions, sweet bell peppers, zucchini, and minced garlic. Next for the sausage. Whenever I cook my sausage, the first step I take is to prick holes in the links with a fork to allow the inside of the sausages to get a head start on cooking. After that, I place them all into a large saute pan that has a tight fitting lid. I add in around a 1/2 a cup of low sodium chicken broth to the pan with the sausages. On med high heat, with the lid on the saute pan, I let the sausages steam in the liquid for around 15 minutes, turning them over half way through. This gives some extra flavor to the sausages and ensures that the sausages will be completely throughout.

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For the next step I take the sausages out and set them onto a plate. I get my grill pan out and heated up for the next stage of cooking the sausage.

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Once the grill pan is nice and hot, I place the steamed sausages on the grill. This takes around 3-4 minutes per side with the grill pan on med high heat. Once all the sausages have those beautiful grill marks all over, I let them cool down for about 10 minutes. Next I slice the sausages on the bias for this recipe. Now that all the components are ready, it’s time to start putting this dish together.

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In a large Dutch oven on med heat, I have some olive oil and the diced onions sauteing until the onions are soft. Next I add in all the other veggies on the plate, stirring them around until they just start to soften, around 5-7 minutes. At this point I season with some Kosher salt, pepper, and dried oregano.

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To the vegetables, I add back in the sliced sausage and stir that all through. Next for some liquid.  I add in some white wine and let that go for just a couple of minutes, coating and flavoring all the ingredients, before adding in the drained canned diced tomatoes and low sodium chicken stock. I am using chicken stock and not broth for this recipe. It has a deeper flavor and I thought it would be a perfect accompaniment for the other ingredients. Still on med heat, I let everything come up to a good simmer and this will allow time for the pasta to cook.The pasta will take about 10-12 minutes according to the box, which is the perfect amount of time for the sausage, peppers, and zucchini to be doing their thing.

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Once the pasta is al dente, I drain the pasta and place some of that beautiful Rigatoni into a bowl.  Next, I ladle the sausage, zucchini all over the top of the pasta, making sure that I get plenty of that delicious broth too. Finally adding a few shavings of Parmigiano- Reggiano cheese over the top.

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To garnish, a sprinkle of finely chopped fresh flat leaf Italian parsley.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour 20 minutes ( this includes time for sausage to steam and grill)
Yields: 4 servings
Ingredients:
1 package of sweet Italian sausage ( 5 links)
1 box of Rigatoni
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 package of fresh zucchini diced (3 large zucchinis)
1 yellow onion diced
1 red bell pepper diced
1 yellow bell pepper diced
3 cloves of garlic minced
1 15 ounce can of diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 tablespoon of dried oregano
1 quart of low sodium or unsalted chicken stock (1/2 a cup for steaming the sausage)
1 -1/2 cups of good white wine ( Pinot Grigio)
Parmigiano- Reggiano cheese (3-4 shaved pieces per serving)
1/2 a cup of freshly chopped Italian flat leaf parsley (garnish)
Directions:
While the sausage is steaming in the pan, dice up all the veggies and set them aside on a plate. When the sausage has steamed for a good 15 minutes, take them out and start heating up a grill pan. If you don’t have a grill pan, you can roast them off in a cast iron skillet in a very hot oven. I would say 425 degrees for about 30-35 minutes or until the internal temp is 155 degrees. Let them rest for about 15 minutes before slicing. Once you have grilled all the sausages and they have grill marks on all sides. This again will take about 3-4 minutes per side, then take them off and let cool down before trying to slice them on the bias. In a Dutch oven or heavy bottom pot add the olive oil in a pot that’s been heating up on med heat. Add the onions in first. Once they’ve softened, add in all the other veggies. This is when I season with the Kosher salt, pepper, and oregano. Stir all the veggies around and let them go for about 5-7 minutes. Next add in the wine and let that bubble for a couple of minutes before adding in the sliced sausage pieces and the drained diced tomatoes. Stir that all through and then add in the remainder of the quart of chicken stock. Have a large pot of boiling salted water ready for the pasta on the back burner. Let all this simmer on med heat while you get the pasta ready. The pasta takes about 10-12 minutes and I like the pasta to be al dente. Drain off the pasta and place the hot pasta in the bottom of your serving bowls. Next ladle on some of the delicious sausage and zucchini over the pasta. Using a peeler, shave some of the cheese over the top. Finally garnish with the parsley. If you are not going to be needing all that pasta at one time, maybe because there are only two of you, a good tip is, to rinse the pasta off really well with a bit of cold water. Place the pasta in a large Tupperware container, and then add in some olive oil. This will prevent the pasta from clumping up until the next time your going to use it. Then all you need to do is have some boiling water on the stove and place the cooked pasta in for just a minute to get it hot for your next helping.


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