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Pasta with Arugula and Chicken Sausage

Pasta with Arugula and Chicken Sausage makes for a perfect speedy weeknight meal. If it isn't tomato season when you make this, you can substitute chunks of roasted butternut or acorn squash in fall or winter, or toss in some sweet asparagus in early spring.

Pasta with Chicken Sausage and Arugula
Pasta with Chicken Sausage and Arugula

Pasta with Arugula and Chicken Sausage makes for a perfect speedy weeknight meal. If it isn't tomato season when you make this, you can substitute chunks of roasted butternut or acorn squash in fall or winter, or toss in some sweet asparagus in early spring. Recipe by P. Allen Smith

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces whole-wheat or high-protein short pasta, such as shells, rigatoni, or rotini
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 12 ounces fully cooked Italian chicken sausage, cut into ¼-inch diagonal slices*
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 5 ounces (about 6 cups) arugula
  • 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • ¼ cup half-and-half or whole milk
  • ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Shaved Parmesan
  • Fresh basil

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until just tender. Drain, reserving ½ cup of cooking liquid.
  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage slices and brown well on both sides. Stir in garlic, arugula, and tomatoes. Cook for 3 minutes or until arugula wilts and tomatoes just begin to break down, stirring often. Transfer sausage mixture to a large bowl and return pan to the stove.
  • Still over medium-high heat, add reserved pasta water and half-and-half to the pan. Stir until it just begins to lightly simmer. Whisk in shredded Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Continue stirring until cheese has melted and sauce has thickened, about 1-2 minutes. Turn off heat, add pasta and arugula mixture, and toss to combine. Serve immediately topped with shaved Parmesan and fresh basil, if desired.
  • *Italian chicken or turkey sausage may be substituted. Remove insides from casings and brown in a skillet, stirring until crumbly. Drain well before proceeding with the recipe.

    Featured Ingredient: Arugula

    Arugula is a peppery green that is delicious mixed with other greens in salads, or tossed with balsamic vinaigrette and spread over baked pizzas. It can even be sautéed or steamed like spinach, and is wonderful tossed in hot pasta dishes. Arugula is easy to find in the grocery store (most often as "Baby Arugula"); however, we think that by growing arugula yourself, you'll experience much more (and better) flavor. Learn how to grow your own arugula.

    Pasta with Chicken Sausage and Arugula