A Quick and Easy Rigatoni Dinner Recipe

I’ve made this pasta dinner quite a few times, and it’s easy and quick to prepare yet still tastes great. When I don’t have any marinara in the freezer, this is perfect.

I found the recipe in a Bon Appetit magazine. Really, who names their recipes these days? This recipe link is for arugula, not arugula, and that explains why I couldn’t find it.

The dish begins with a quick tomato sauce cooked for about 30 minutes with onions, garlic, red wine, spicy sausage, tomatoes, arugula, basil, oregano, and Parmigiano cheese.

Changes I made include only using crushed tomatoes instead of diced and crushed (texture problem), substituting spicy chicken sausage for pork, and replacing arugula with spinach. I sometimes break up the sausage and add it to the sauce like the recipe specifies, and other times I poach the sausage, slice it, and then add it to the sauce. It depends on my mood whether I use all hot sausage or sweet and hot sausage. This could also be made with chorizo or andouille pre-cooked, and it can be tailored to what you are feeling at the time.

This is a hearty, easy-to-make meal, which is a weekly must-have for me. Having a nice hot dinner with my husband every night is something I look forward to. When I’ve been watching what I eat all day, it’s lovely to be able to relax with some comforting yet healthy (or at least somewhat healthy) food. I can relax after a busy day and reward myself. Although I sound like that stupid “family table” commercial, I believe it is true. While I was growing up, we almost always ate dinner together every night, and I think it is essential to continue to do so, even if it is just us.

Spicy Chicken Sausage and Rigatoni with Spinach

Olive oil, one tablespoon
Chop one large onion
Chop three garlic cloves
Spicy chicken sausage, 1 pound
Red wine, 1/2 cup
Crushed tomatoes in a 28-ounce can
Rigatoni, 8 ounces
Fresh spinach (packet), stemmed 2 cups
Fresh basil leaves sliced thinly, 1/2 cup
Fresh oregano, chopped one tablespoon
Half a cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

In a heavy large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. In a heavy large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Using a heavy large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent, about 4 minutes. Stir in garlic for 1 minute. About 5 minutes after adding sausage, break up with a spoon. Pour off drippings.
Bring wine and crushed tomatoes to a boil. Stir occasionally for 30 minutes to blend flavors. Prepare the day before. Let cool slightly. Cool uncovered in the fridge, then cover and keep chilled. Before serving, reheat over medium heat.
In the meantime, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally. Then drain.
Pasta, spinach, basil, and oregano are stirred into tomato sauce. Stir often for about 2 minutes until spinach wilts. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour into a large bowl. Add Parmesan.