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Rigatoni with Sausage, Artichokes and Asparagus

December 3, 2009

~ Katy ~


I love pasta! When I was a kid and we had spaghetti, I’d always ask if I could have the sauce on the side so that I could eat my noodles with butter. Mmmmm. Unfortunately, they tell me white pasta isn’t good for me, so I don’t make it very often. I have yet to find a wheat version that tastes decent. Granted, I gave up the search about 5 years ago, so maybe things have improved since then. Let me know if you’ve found some whole grain pasta that’s as delicious as the original, and I’ll give it a go. I’d love to get back to eating pasta on a regular basis.



This recipe was adapted from Everyday Pasta by Giada de Laurentiis.



Rigatoni with Sausage,


Artichokes and Asparagus


¾ cup drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, sliced (reserve 2 tablespoons oil)

1 pound hot Italian sausage

2 (9-oz) packages frozen artichoke hearts (can used canned, instead)

1 small bunch asparagus (8 ounces), trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

2 large cloves garlic, chopped

1 ¾ cups chicken broth

½ cup dry white wine

12 ounces rigatoni or other tubular pasta

½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

1/3 cup chopped, fresh basil

¼ cup chopped, fresh flat-leaf parsley (Italian Parsley)

8 ounces (about 1 ½ cups) fresh mozzarella, cubed (optional)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Heat reserved oil in a large, heavy frying pan over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook until browned, breaking meat into bite-size pieces with a fork, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer sausage to a bowl. Add artichokes, asparagus and garlic to skillet, and sauté over medium heat until garlic is tender, about 2 minutes. Add broth, wine and sun-dried tomatoes. Boil over medium-high heat until sauce reduces slightly, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. (*NOTE: I like to add the asparagus later so that it doesn’t get overcooked)


Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Drain pasta.


Add pasta and sausage to artichoke mixture. Toss until sauce is almost absorbed by pasta, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in Parmesan cheese, basil, parsley and mozzarella, if using. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve, passing additional Parmesan cheese alongside.


Makes 6 servings.

20 Comments leave one →
  1. December 3, 2009 9:35 am

    Barilla makes a fortified, whole grain version (plus I think) that comes in a yellow box. It’s pretty tasty and not as grainy as the wheat pastas they also make. The kids I babysit for love it and they can be a little picky, but I wouldn’t say it was the same as the normal white pastas. It might be worth a try though.

    • December 4, 2009 8:28 am

      Thanks for the info. I’ll definitely give it a try!

  2. December 3, 2009 8:38 pm

    That asparagus added is so different haven’t thought about that before it looks wonderful…can’t wait to try this!

  3. December 3, 2009 8:56 pm

    Sounds delicious and easy to do! Always on the lookout for recipes like this– thanks!

  4. December 3, 2009 9:07 pm

    de Cecco’s whole wheat pasta is pretty decent, all things considered. Bionaturae makes an organic whole wheat pasta that’s quite good. But I’ll bet Frank at Memorie di Angelina would have some thoughts on this!

  5. December 3, 2009 11:02 pm

    We call these “pasta bakes” around here. I really like this version with the veggies and a light sauce as opposed to marinara. Barilla is the best one I’ve found so far but I’m not wild about it. Let me know if you do find a better one. Always wanting to get more fiber when I can!

  6. December 3, 2009 11:31 pm

    your pic is so crystal clear i honestly think its real… donk, donk, its not, but i tired to fork it! you are dangerous combo, great food and stellar pics, makes you lethal!

  7. December 4, 2009 8:31 am

    Thanks for all of the comments and for the healthy pasta recommendations. I’ll give them a try.

  8. December 4, 2009 10:15 am

    I just love the vegetable combination! In my opinion, pasta dishes don’t require “heavy sauces” to be delicious. I love serving it in this style.

  9. December 4, 2009 11:20 am

    You’ve pulled out all the stops! What a great pasta recipe… Packed with great flavor!

  10. December 4, 2009 1:32 pm

    That pasta has all of my favorite things in it! I have to give this a try.

  11. December 4, 2009 6:57 pm

    I’m with you on the ww pasta–still haven’t found one I care to eat. I’ll occasionally use Ronzoni Smart Taste, which boasts whole grain, but they don’t have my favorite shapes. This recipe looks delicious. Giada’s dishes are generally given a thumbs up at my house. I love sausage–sweet,though–and artichokes. The asparagus would be tasty, as would broccoli rabe. Good ideas here.

  12. December 10, 2009 8:24 pm

    oooh, just noticed Mary’s tweet link to this, not sure how I missed this. Must have been posted on one of my busier days. This looks delish!!!

  13. wanda permalink
    December 14, 2009 11:01 pm

    I made this tonight and it was very tasty!!! Definitely a must do again….Thanks Katy!

    • December 17, 2009 8:51 am

      You’re welcome! I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  14. Sean permalink
    December 16, 2009 9:51 pm

    Yummy! What an awesome surprise when I got home! We acquired the ingredients over the weekend and Wanda had it ready when I walked in the door. Woo hooo!! Had the leftovers for lunch the next day. Dish reminds me of Maggiano’s Little Italy in Oak Brook and the time we didn’t get a table until 10pm and Colin fell asleep with his head on the table. I think he was about 6yrs old at the time.

    • foododelmundo permalink*
      December 17, 2009 8:27 am

      That’s funny! I’ve been meaning to make this for two weeks now. I almost did yesterday, but got busy at work YAY!
      tonight is it and I can’t wait. Kevin & Mindey gave us some homemade venison sausage – it’s lean and delicious.

      • December 17, 2009 8:52 am

        Good story, Sean. Glad the pasta was good. Mary, that venison sausage will be great with this!

  15. John permalink
    December 17, 2009 7:26 pm

    Mary made this tonight and it was wonderful!
    It makes a nice dish.

    You can taste all of the different ingredients since there is no sauce. The lean venison sausage from Kevin & Mindy allowed the dish to remain “light”.
    The diversity of the components would also make this a great chilled summer salad.

    Great recipe Katy!

    • December 21, 2009 7:37 pm

      I love the idea of having this as a summer salad!

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