Now I know I've done a lot of simple pasta in tomato sauce recipes on this blog, but this one is one of my personal favourites! I love buying freshly made chicken or turkey sausages made fresh right at the market. You can just taste the quality. So when I decide to serve these babies up I don't mix it right into the tomato sauce. I let the taste of the sausage shine through by serving it up seared, cut up and placed right on top. I show it off! Both the rigatoni pasta and the chicken sausage make quite the pair, don't you think readers? This is a meal that your whole family will enjoy any time of the year! Happy eating!

Serves 4

  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 5-7 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small onion, chopped finely
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper (to taste)
  • 1/2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 can (48 oz.) no salt crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 cups low sodium beef stock (use more as needed)
  • 1 medium pkg of rigatoni, with lines (helps the sauce stick to the pasta)
  • 4 fresh chicken sausages (in hog casings)
  • Parmesan cheese, grated (to serve)

1. Preheat a large deep shallow heavy bottom skillet, on medium high heat, and drizzle 2 tbsps of olive oil. Saute the garlic and onion for 1-2 minutes, then add in the diced carrots and zucchini. Cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add salt, pepper and dried oregano to taste.

2. Then add in the can of crushed tomatoes, sugar, and the low sodium beef stock. Stir to combine and lower the temp to medium heat. If you find the sauce to be too thick for you, then add another 1/2 cup or so of beef stock. Once the sauce comes to a simmer, then lower the heat again to a gentle simmer and cover with the lid. Let the sauce cook while you're cooking the sausages and boiling the pasta.

3. Put on a large pot of boiling water, lightly salt the water, and place in the pasta. Cook according to package instructions. The pasta should still have a bit of bite to it.

4. Preheat a large non-stick skillet, on medium high heat, drizzle 1 tbsp of oil and start to sear the sausages. Make sure to sear all sides of the sausages, this should take a few minutes. Then add several tbsps of water, lower the heat and place the lid on. Let it cook for a good 7-10 minutes. It shouldn't take long to cook through.

5. Once the pasta has cooked and it has been drained, add it right into the pasta sauce. Toss gently with two wooden spoons to coat with sauce. Turn the heat off. Spoon the pasta onto the serving plates. Slice the cooked sausages into 1-inch bites, then place them right on top of the pasta on plates. Serve warm with a good sprinkling of Parm cheese.

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