It really LOVE the comfort and homeliness that a good plate of pasta brings to my life. If I could eat it every day, I totally would! There really is no better dish to satisfy me after a busy day, where my first mouthful is almost always followed by a large exhale of utter joy and contentment. This combination of seasoned Italian sausage meat, sweet cherry tomatoes and crunchy, wholesome broccolini was something I threw together one night by chance, hoping it would come together… the entire pot was scraped clean by our little family and has since become our new favorite! A really simple, tasty, midweek meal made easy!
I must suggest three important (though optional) additions to this simple dish. Often, if you are going to keep a recipe simple, the simple things need to be done just right to get the result you want…
- Make the chilli oil and drip a good amount through your bowl! The kick from the heat really lifts the dish! Since I have small children, they are quite sensitive to any amount of chilli, so I often mix up a little bowl of this super simple oil (see recipe below) for my husband and I to add to various meals. It’s just brilliant with pasta dishes!
- Once you have dished up the pasta drizzle over some good quality olive oil over each plate. This will both loosen the pasta and of course add even more delicious flavour.
- Finish of with a fresh, generous grating of Italian cheese. 👌
Without anymore chit-chat, here is the recipe for my Rigatoni with Italian Sausage and Broccolini! I hope you all enjoy it as much as my family do.
- 500g Rigatoni pasta
- 400 - 500g Italian sausages
- 1 medium onion - finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves - finely chopped
- 400g broccolini
- 350g cherry tomatoes - sliced in half
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper to season
- 1 chilli finely chopped + olive oil 2-3 tbsp of olive oil
- Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil.
- While you're waiting for it to boil, take the sausages and remove finger nail sized pieces of the raw meat from the skins. On a medium to high heat, heat a pan with 1 tbsp of olive oil, add the little pieces of sausage meat to the pan and fry them till browned and cooked. Remove them from the pan and set aside.
- In the same frying pan add the chopped onion plus another tbsp of oil if the pan is dry. Fry the onion until soft, adding a tbsp of water to the pan every so often to avoid burning the onion. Once the onion is soft add the garlic and cook until fragrant (not burnt).
- Add the cup of white wine and let it cook until the alcohol smell evaporates (a couple of minutes). Using a wooden spoon, loosen the bits of left over sausage off the bottom pan as this all adds to the flavour. Add the broccolini and place a lid or baking tray over the pan to keep the steam in. Let the broccolini cook for a couple of minutes but not too much as you want to keep them crunchy. Remove the lid or tray and add the tomatoes and sausages to the pan. Toss all the ingredients around and cook for another minute or so until the tomatoes just start to soften and are about to loose their skin. Taste the sauce and season well with salt and pepper.
- When the water starts to boil in the pot, season it with a good amount of salt. Add the pasta and cook until al dente (with a slight bite) or until its the texture you like. Before you drain off the water, reserve a cupful of the cooking water and put it to the side.
- Combine the pasta once it's been drained with the sausage and veggie sauce. Give it a good stir in the pot. If you feel like the mixture isn't 'loose' enough, add some of the reserved cooking water in small amounts until it's to your liking.
- Plate up the pasta into serving bowls and drizzle with a generous amount of good quality olive oil and a grating of parmesan cheese.
- *For the chilli oil*
- Combine the chopped chilli and olive oil in a small bowl, place it on the table for guests to drizzle over as they choose.