Foodie Friday: Pasta Recipes

Rigatoni with Sausage, Peas and Mushrooms
Via Country Living

Sometimes you just crave a good pasta dish!  When you have to have it, nothing else will do. There is something so deliciously comforting about pasta.  We've found some great pasta recipes to warm you up this winter.  Enjoy!

Rigatoni with Sausage, Peas and Mushrooms

1 1/4 lb. sweet Italian sausage
Salt and freshly ground pepper
12 oz. rigatoni
12 large white mushrooms
1/2 c. dry white wine, such as Bordeaux
1 whole garlic clove
1 sprig fresh thyme
Thyme leaves
1 1/2 c. fresh or frozen peas
1 c. heavy cream
2 tbsp. unsalted butter

In a large skillet over medium heat, simmer sausage and 1 1/4 cups water, turning sausage occasionally, for 10 minutes. Transfer sausage to a cutting board and slice into 1/4-inch-thick coins. Discard water. In same skillet over medium-high heat, brown sausage, 3 to 4 minutes per side; transfer to a plate. Set aside sausage and skillet with fat.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook rigatoni following package instructions. Drain, reserving 1/3 cup pasta water. Set both aside.

In same skillet with reserved fat, cook mushrooms over medium-high heat until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Add wine, stirring to scrape up any browned bits from bottom of skillet. Add garlic, thyme sprig, and reserved sausage to pan and stir. Add reserved pasta water and peas; simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in heavy cream and simmer until mixture thickens, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove thyme sprig and garlic. Stir in butter and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper.

Add reserved rigatoni to skillet. Stir to coat with cream sauce and heat through, 2 to 3 minutes. Garnish with thyme leaves.

Tomato Spinach Chicken Spaghetti
Via Julia's Album

Tomato Spinach Chicken Spaghetti

1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped, drained of oil
2 tablespoons olive oil, drained from sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 pound chicken boneless, skinless (preferably, boneless skinless thighs), chopped
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 roma tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
8 oz fresh spinach
3 garlic cloves, chopped
6 oz spaghetti or angel hair pasta
Optional - 3 tablespoons high quality olive oil or oil from the sun-dried tomatoes jar

Add chopped sun-dried tomatoes and 2 tablespoons of olive oil, drained from sun-dried tomatoes, to a large skillet, on medium-low heat. Add chopped chicken (I used boneless skinless chicken thighs and prefer to use them, but you can use chopped chicken breast, as well), red pepper flakes, and salt over all of the ingredients in the skillet, and cook on medium heat until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink, about 5 minutes.

Add chopped tomatoes, chopped fresh basil leaves, fresh spinach, and chopped garlic to the skillet with chicken, cook on medium heat about 3- 5 minutes until spinach wilts just a little, and tomatoes release some of their juices. Remove from heat. Taste, and add more salt to taste, if needed. Cover with lid and keep off heat.

Cook pasta according to package instructions, until al dente. Drain, and add cooked and drained pasta to the skillet with the chicken and vegetables. Reheat on low heat, mix everything well, add more seasonings (salt and pepper), if desired. Remove from heat.

At this point, when the pasta and vegetables are off heat, you can add more high quality olive oil, which is really tasty. Or you can add more olive oil from the jar from the sun-dried tomatoes.

Mozzarella Penne
Via Lil Luna

Mozzarella Penne

2 TB olive oil
1/8 cup onion or 1 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. garlic
1 lb Italian Sausage
2 cans (15 oz ea) tomato sauce
1 TB oregano
2 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. fennel seed
1/2 tsp. salt
pinch of red pepper flakes
pinch of nutmeg
1 lb penne pasta
3 TB butter
3 TB wondra flour
2 1/4 cups milk
grated mozzarella cheese
grated Parmesan cheese

In a large skillet heat your oil. Add onion and garlic, stir. Add sausage, breaking up well. Add tomato sauce and spices, let simmer.

Fill a pot with water and set on high heat. Once boiling, add salt and pasta. Cook el dente.

To make Bechamel; On med-low heat, melt butter in a saucepan. When melted, add your flour and stir until smooth. Whisk continually until mixture is light golden brown, about 5 min. Add your milk a little bit at a time, stirring constantly until its thick. Add a pinch of salt.

Using a 9x13 pan, layer a small amount of red sauce from step 1 to the bottom of your pan. The layering process is as follows..Pasta, red sauce, bechamel then mozzarella. Do this a total of 3 times. Sprinkle more mozzarella and parmesan on top, to your liking. For us, the cheesier the better!!

Bake at 400 until golden and bubbly, about 20-30 minutes. Took 20 minutes in my oven. Enjoy warm.

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