Rice Pasta with Sausage, Broccoli and Red Pepper

Rice Pasta with Sausage, Broccoli and Red Pepper

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It was one of those days where there were specific ingredients that need to get used up, so the recipe has to be tailored around that. A great place I've been finding recipes is Yummly, where you can search just one ingredient and a whole bunch of recipes using that ingredient come up. I adapted this particular recipe from Food52, and adjusted the serving size to 4 for my family. Tonight's theme was use up some of the sausages my mom bought on sale for ridiculously cheap, and the red pepper's that have been in the fridge for a few days. And by using rice pasta, it's an awesome gluten free dinner. For this recipe, you'll need:

  • 2/3 lb sausage
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine (I used water)
  • 2/3 cup chicken stock (low sodium)
  • 2/3 lb pasta
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1 small red pepper
  • 2/3 tsp thyme leaves
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/6 cup freshly grated parmesan (I used the kraft tub variety, my dad went grocery shopping with me and he prefers the packaged variety of any food out there)

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1. Chop broccoli, red pepper and garlic.

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2. Remove the sausage from its casings and break into small chunks. Heat the olive oil in a pan with high sides over medium-high heat. When it's smoking, add the sausage and saute, stirring occasionally, until nicely browned (about 5 minutes). Remove the sausage from the pan and keep warm on a plate.

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3. Reduce heat to medium and add the garlic to the pan. Cook for a couple of minutes until the garlic is softened and fragrant. Add the wine (in my case, water) and stir to scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Reduce the wine (water) by about two-thirds, then add the chicken broth and return the sauce to a boil. Reduce until the sauce is darker and some what syrupy, about 7-10 minutes.

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4. While the sauce is reducing, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.

5. Fill a small sauce pan with about a 1/2 inch of water. Salt it generously and set it over high heat. When it begins to boil, add the broccoli and red peppers. Cover the pot and steam the veggies until they reach your desired crispness. I then drained the water from the pan and left the veggies in the pan on warm.

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6. Stir the thyme into the sauce and then remove the sauce from the heat while you cook the pasta. Once the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook to al dente. Rice pasta typically takes about 10-15 minutes to cook.

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7. When done, strain pasta and add to the pan with the sauce. Set over low heat and fold in. Add the butter and parmesan as you continue to fold. Finally, add the sausage, broccoli and red pepper.

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And ta-da!

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The verdict:

This sauce is fantastic! It is so flavourful with the mix of fat from the sausage, olive oil, garlic and thyme, but also so light. And I love rice pasta, it is so much more filling (in my mind) than wheat pasta, and makes me feel much less weighed down afterwards. The added sweetness from the red peppers, and heat from the sausage makes for a great, well-balanced meal.

What are your go to dinners? Do you like to make the same dishes all the time or mix it up?

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