CHICKEN SAUSAGE, PESTO AND CHERRY TOMATO RIGATONI

If you need a pasta recipe in your repertoire that impress guests and tastes like a gourmet style restaurant meal this one is a must-have! I created this recipe originally just to really cheer myself up and my husband after a long hard day at work - you all know what I am talking about. I went to our local grocery store and picked up some yummy spinach and feta chicken sausages and knew I had to do something creative with them. This was just what I needed to get my cooking juices flowing. Add a little basil pesto and you have a gourmet style pasta dish that will surely pick up your spirits too after a long hard day at work.

Serves 2 generously

Ingredients:

  • 450g dry rigatoni or penne (roughly half a box of pasta)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • pinch of chili flakes (optional)
  • 2 spinach and feta chicken sausages, out of the casings
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1-1/2 cups cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • coarse salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup pasta cooking water of white wine
  • 1/2 cup pre-made basil pesto (or measure according to your taste)
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas

1. Put on a large pot of boiling water, salt the water and then cook the rigatoni until al dente. Heat oil into a deep large skillet, on medium high heat, add in the minced garlic, chili flakes and the chicken sausage. Break up the sausage using your wooden spoon. Brown the meat for about 3-4 minutes.

2. Turn the heat down to medium, and add in the diced onion and cremini mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Saute the onion and mushrooms until the onion becomes translucent and the mushrooms start to breakdown. Pour in 1/2 cup of pasta cooking water or dry white wine to deglaze the pan. Picking up all of the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add in the cherry tomatoes at this point and cook for only a minute or two at most.

3. When the pasta is done cooking, drain and quickly add it into the chicken and veggie mixture. Stir all of the ingredients together, turn the heat to low and spoon in the basil pesto and the frozen peas. Coat all of the pasta with the pesto and then take it off the heat. Serve immediately.

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