As I was drinking my morning coffee yesterday, I started to ponder what I could make for a quick and nutritious dinner that would satisfy everyone. Tuesday nights are rough in my house as the kids are all coming in from various activities like ballet, basketball and gymnastics and to say they’re famished is an understatement. By 6pm they’re ready to eat their elbows. And then I had a B.O.B. (burst of brilliance) and I remembered one of our favorite standbys from last winter: Rachel Ray’s Linguini with Sausage, Cherry Tomatoes and Arugula. As with most pasta dinners this is fast and easy to assemble. This whole meal is put together in under 20 mins and is a sure fire crowd pleaser. If you really like some heat, you can add the Chili Peppers, but we leave them out so our kids will eat it. I do however use hot Italian sausage so there is a burst of flavor already. Needless to say our hunger crisis was averted. I managed to get this on the table before any body parts were sacrificed.
- 1 pound linguini or whole wheat linguini (I used Bucatini just because that’s what I had)
- 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 pound Italian sausages, sweet or hot (I use hot italian turkey sausages)
- 1 red chili pepper, very thinly sliced (I omit this)
- 3 large cloves garlic crushed
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes
- 2 bundles arugula or 1/3 pound baby arugula
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Bring a large pot of water to a boil for pasta.
Salt water and cook pasta to al dente, reserve about 1/2 cup of starchy cooking water just before draining.
Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with EVOO, add sausage (I remove the casings), brown and crumble 5 minutes. Then add chili pepper if using, garlic and toss 1-2 minutes.
Add cherry tomatoes and cover the pan with a tight fitting lid to burst tomatoes, 8-10 minutes. Shake the pan occasionally to move the tomatoes around a bit. When skins start to burst crack softened tomatoes open with utensil.
Drain pasta (remember to Reserve 1/2 cup of starchy water).
Add the pasta, arugula and pasta water to the pan of tomatoes and sausage and stir. I add about 3 tablespoons of fat free half & half to thicken the sauce.
Salt and pepper to taste. I like to top with parmesan cheese, but you can also use a dollop of mascarpone or ricotta.
Enjoy! Also makes for great leftovers.
Afterwards, we finished our Whole Foods shortbread cookies for dessert. Recipe at the bottom of my post on the Cooking School at Whole Foods.