What to Make For the Superbowl That's Inexpensive, Easy and Not Chili: Rigatoni Pasta with Sausage
This simple supper is easy to make, cheap, nutritious, and generally will make people happy--assuming they like to eat well and aren't veggie haters, that is. The one-dish, stove-top dinner combines sausage (you can substitute low-fat turkey sausage, if you want) onions, mushrooms, and little green peas in a simple, creamy, cheesy sauce. A little extra dusting of Parmesan cheese adds extra nutty saltiness to the dish. You can serve the one-bowl meal with a veggie tray (i.e., celery sticks and baby carrots) and perhaps some crusty bread, if you'd like. Or just serve it "as is." This truly is a quick and easy dish that's comforting and low work for the cook. The rigatoni, besides making a nice Superbowl supper, is great for a weeknight or any night when cooking a fancy meal isn't on your wish list. As a bonus, the rigatoni makes great leftovers for tasty lunches later in the week.
Rigatoni with Sausage -- Serves 4+
16 ounces of link Italian sausage, chopped into 1/2-inch rounds
8 ounces of sliced button mushrooms
1/2 cup of chopped onion
1 teaspoon of dried basil
8 ounces of rigatoni
3 1/2 cups of water
2 teaspoons of reduced sodium chicken "Better Than Bullion"
1 cup of light sour cream
1 cup of Italian blend cheese
1-2 cups of baby peas
1/4 cup of low-fat milk (optional)
1/4-1/3 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat and spritz it with a little oil (or add 2-3 teaspoons of oil to the pan). Add the mushrooms and onions to the pan and saute them for 5-8 minutes until they soften. Add the sausage and saute it with the veggies for 5-8 minutes or until it begins to brown a bit. If you're using regular (not turkey) Italian sausage, tilt the pan a bit and use a spoon to remove most of the fat. After draining the fat, add the dried basil, the rigatoni, and the water to the pan and stir everything together. Bring the contents of the pan to a boil and stir in the "Better Than Bullion." Reduce the heat to a simmer and partially cover the pan. Let the pasta mixture cook until the pasta is tender and it has absorbed most of the water. You should have about a cup or so of water remaining in the pan. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the light sour cream and the Italian cheese until everything is coated and a light sauce forms. Stir in the peas and turn off the heat. If the mixture seems a little dry, you can stir in about 1/4 cup of low-fat milk to loosen the sauce a bit. Sprinkle on the Parmesan cheese and cover the pan for a few minutes before serving the pasta.