This week’s recipe was inspired by two constants in my life: pasta and the desire to eat healthy! Despite my commitment to exercise and healthy eating, pasta remains one of my go-to ingredients if I want something quick to eat or if I am feeling lazy on a Sunday and want to eat something savory. I decided if I am going to continue to include pasta in my diet, I was going to find a way to reduce the amount of calories and fat I consumed in each serving. That is where the idea of this full-of-flavor dish with about half of the calories of its culinary equivalent (Beef Rigatoni – with 80/20 ground beef) was created. What I like about this dish, besides the lower calorie count, is that it takes only 30 minutes to make and you only need seven ingredients…all of which can be found at your local grocery store or farmer’s market.
I hope you all love it as much as I do. And, feel free to drop me a line and let me know how you liked (or, didn’t like) this dish.
- 8 ounce Rigatoni
- 1 (11-ounce) container of cherry tomatoes
- 1 large sweet red pepper, diced
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1/3 pound of Italian-style pork sausage, casing removed and torn into 1–inch pieces
- 6 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, quartered
- 1/4 cup loosely packed parsley, chopped
- 1/3 cup of mozzarella cheese (optional)
- 1. Heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- 2. Cook pasta as directed on the package until al dente (approximately 8-10 minutes).
- 3. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta cooking water.
- 4. Place tomatoes on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons of olive oil; season with salt and
- black pepper and place it in the oven for approximately 15 minutes or until fully roasted.
- 5. Heat a large skillet over high heat for approximately 1 minute. Add remaining 1 tablespoon of
- oil. Cook sausage and sweet red pepper, stirring until the sausage is golden brown (about 4 or
- 5 minutes) and the peppers are tender.
- 6. Reduce heat to medium. Add garlic and tomatoes; stir to combine. Cook until garlic turns
- brown (no more than a minute).
- 7. Add reserved cooking water and stir.
- 8. Reduce heat to low. Add olives and pasta. Increase heat to medium high and cook for about 1
- 9. Add parsley and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese (optional). Season with salt and pepper.