I can’t think of anything more hearty and home-warming than a bowl full of pasta on a relaxing Sunday afternoon. It gets even better when added to this dish are other robust textures like roasted sausage, grilled vegetables and sundried tomatoes. Topped off with loads of extra virgin olive oil and parmesan. Dig in to this one-dish meal at your next family dinner.
Start with the roasted meat:
Turkey sausage works well with this dish. However, if sausage doesn’t appeal to you, then try roasting other meat or tofu.
- Preheat your oven to 375 (Roast)
- Using a sharp knife, pierce the sausages several times (front and back)
- Place them on a baking dish
- Drizzle a light vegetable olive oil over them
- Roast sausages for about an hour (or until done to your liking)
Grilling the vegetables:
A cast iron skillet works best with vegetables. For this pasta dish, presentation is part of the equation. Use your favourite green vegetable (for example, broccoli, asparagus, zucchini, rapinni) and either a red or brown vegetable. Today, we used broccoli and cremini mushrooms.
When grilling veg, it is important to get your cast iron good and hot.
- Lightly grease the skillet and when ready, lay the veggies flat. Do not overcrowd the vegetables. They will sear nicely if left alone for a few minutes on each side.
- Sprinkle some garlic powder or herbs.
Do not add salt to your veg when cooking since they become watery and mushy. (For this dish, there is plenty of salt in the sausage and parmesan so you may think twice before adding it).
- Slice about 7 or 8 sundried tomatoes in strips.
Cook the pasta:
- Cook 3 cups of penne rigatta (rigatta means ridges – any short pasta that has ridges tastes heartier as it tends to be thicker).
The best method to cook pasta is to start with a big pot and plenty of water. Cover the pot and bring it to a rolling boil. Then add at least 2 tsp of salt. Add your pasta and stir often until the pasta is al dente. The package will have directions for how long to cook the pasta, however, it’s a good idea to test it before draining the water.
When done, strain the pasta and NEVER rinse it. Mix together with good olive oil, about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese, the roasted sausages (cut into thin slices), grilled veggies and sun dried tomatoes. If you like olives, try garnishing this dish with a few olives (pits left in).
“People who love to eat are always the best people.” – Julia Child