This is a pasta dish I used to make all the time. A fixture in the weekly rotation. It sort of lost its spot in the rotation when the kids showed up, however. Those picky kiddo-types just don't like to eat stuff that's all mixed together with bits of this & that, green stuff, red stuff...you get the picture. I still made it on occasion but the kids would usually just eat the pasta and maybe some sausage. But they're a bit older and have been a bit more adventurous lately so I gave it another shot. Also, I went with whole grain pasta, so if they just ate mostly pasta, that would be alright.
The good news is that they did eat a good amount of it. The bad news is took a lot of "convincing" to get them to eat more than 1 bite of zucchini or tomato. But it was a success and I now feel this old standby pasta dish can jump back into the rotation.
I used rotini but obviously, any chunky pasta will work great. I usually use rigatoni, actually. This time I bought bulk Italian sausage but sliced up links work well too. The flavors are simple and good. As long as you stick to the standard pasta cooking technique, it'll be delicious. Cook the pasta in well-salted water until just before al dente, finish cooking the pasta in the sauce, and hold back some of the pasta cooking water and add it to the sauce to bring it all together.
Do you have a go-to pasta recipe like this? I'd love to hear about it!
PASTA WITH SAUSAGE, ZUCCHINI AND TOMATOES
Ingredients: 1 lb of short pasta, 1 lb of Italian sausage, 2 zucchini, 1 pint of grape tomatoes cut in half, 1 small diced onion, 3 minced cloves garlic, 1 cup of white wine, extra-virgin olive oil, parmiggiano-reggiano cheese, salt, pepper
- Bring a large pot of water to boil.
- Cut your zucchini into half-inch pieces. I cut them lengthwise in half, then cut each have lengthwise, then cross-cut. You can cut it however you like.
- In a hot skillet, add a drizzle of olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan and add the zucchini. Season with salt and pepper.
- Saute until the zucchini begins to brown. Remove and reserve in a bowl.
- Add the sausage and break apart with a wooden spoon into bite size chunks. If you have links, you can slice the link up into smaller pieces.
- Saute the sausage until fully cooked. Remove from pan and reserve with the zucchini.
- Add the diced onion to the pan and saute until just translucent. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the halved tomatoes and cook for a couple of minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the wine and start scraping the bottom of the pan to lift up any bits stuck to the pan. Cook for a couple of minutes.
- Add the sausage and zucchini back and mix thoroughly.
- Lower the heat to medium-low.
- Add enough salt to your boiling water until the water tastes seasoned.
- Drop your pasta and cook until almost al dente.
- Add the pasta to the pan with the sauce and mix thoroughly. You may need to add a half cup or so of the pasta water so don't throw it all out.
- Cook the pasta in the sauce for a minute or so.
- Grate a shower of parmesan cheese over the whole thing and serve.
- You can drizzle each plate of pasta with some more good extra-virgin olive oil and grate some more cheese on top.