This is an excellent dish for busy weeknights. Though it is easy to prepare, and you will still get a restaurant quality dinner.
Full of summer vegetables the pasta is delicious and nutritious, as well. Kids will love it, and adults will love it too. What else do you need to please yourself and your family?
You can use a variety of vegetables, whichever you will find in a pantry or a fridge – and you always get a quite rich taste in such a simple dish.
I like making these Italian sausage meatballs… And I love to see happy faces of my family…
Rigatoni with Italian Sausage Meatballs and Summer Vegetables
- 1 package (1 lb) rigatoni or other pasta to your taste
- 4 Italian sausages (about 1 lb)
- 1 large carrot, finely chopped or grated using a mandoline slicer
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 can (about 14 oz) tomatoes in their own juice
- 1 cup green peas (frozen is fine)
- 1 zucchini, cut into cubes
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning or pasta seasoning (or mixture of dried herbs: thyme, basil, parsley)
- 2 tbsp or more olive oil for cooking
- Extra virgin olive oil for finishing
- Black pepper
- Parmesan cheese, Pecorino Romano or other hard cheese for serving (optional)
In the deep and wide heavy bottomed pan, heat 1-2 tbsp of olive oil.
Cut the sausages casing lengthwise. Remove the casing. Break off small pieces from the sausage, and brown these meatballs in the pan.
Add carrots, cook for 2 minutes.
Add garlic and cook for 45 seconds.
Add tomatoes with their juice (crush the whole tomatoes with a knife or scissors).
Add the dried herbs, hot pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Stir and cook for 5-7 minutes.
Add the zucchini, green peas, and basil. Cook for 5-7 minutes until vegetables are tender.
Cook pasta al dente according to the package directions.
While the pasta is cooking all the flavors of meatballs, vegetables, and spices will become more intense.
Drain water from the pasta saving about 1 cup of it. Add pasta to the sausage-vegetable mixture. Stir.
Add some reserved water from the pasta to the dish to achieve desired consistency (you may only need ½ cup), stir and warm.
Serve, sprinkled with fresh basil and cheese flakes (or grated cheese) and drizzled with olive oil, if you wish.
For tomato sauce lovers add one more can of tomatoes and adjust spices.
Cook with pleasure!