RIGATONI WITH PEPPERONI, VEGGIES AND SHREDDED GOUDA

Here is a pasta recipe that I came up with one night when there was really nothing but these left in the fridge to cook with. I was really running out of ideas and groceries for the week; so I took the pepperoni out and decided to use it in the pasta dish (as funny as it may sound). The smokey, spicy and salty flavour of the pepperoni turned out to bring out a bacon-like flavour in the pasta dish. I absolutely loved it especially paired with the shredded gouda cheese at the end. This is a delicious quick pasta meal that you can serve to kids. If you say there's pepperoni in it I think that they just may forget the broccoli is there. It's almost like having pizza and pasta together.

Serves 3

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb rigatoni pasta
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup of pepperoni, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced finely
  • 1/2 cup low sodium chicken stock
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 head of broccoli florets
  • 1 cup of shredded carrots
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Gouda cheese, shredded (when serving)
1. Put on a large pot of boiling water, salt the water, then drop in the pasta. Follow the package instructions and cook until al dente. In a large shallow skillet, on medium high heat, drizzle in olive oil and cook the chopped pepperoni for 2 minutes to render the fat and flavour.

2. Turn the heat down to medium. Add in the chopped onion and garlic and saute for 2 minutes, then pour in the chicken stock and scrap up all the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add in the diced bell peppers, broccoli florets and shredded carrots. Saute for no more than 2 minutes making sure the veggies are cooked but not over cooked. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Quickly add in the cooked pasta and toss with the sauteed pepperoni and veggies. If you find the pasta a bit dry then pour another 1/4 cup of chicken stock or reserved pasta water. Turn the heat off and serve immediately. Sprinkle generously with shredded gouda cheese right afterwards so it can melt over the pasta. Eat it right away.

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