In fall and winter I crave hearty, flavorful pasta dishes, if at all possible served up in shallow bowls and eaten in woolly socks while curled up on the couch. This is the ultimate weeknight comfort dish, made quickly using Italian sausage, garlic, onion and lemon zest, topped with toasted California walnuts for crunch.
Rustic Walnut Rapini Pasta
1/2 lb hot Italian sausage meat, crumbled
1 cup sliced red onion
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 cup California walnut halves, toasted
1/2 lb rigatoni
1 bunch rapini, roughly chopped (about 6 cups)
zest of a lemon
1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese
Toast the walnuts in a large, dry skillet over medium-high heat, toast walnuts, stirring occasionally, until lightly brown, about 1 to 2 minutes.
In large skillet, brown sausage meat over medium-high heat, breaking up pieces with the back of a spoon. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook 1 minute. Stir in the walnuts.
Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package instructions. Add rapini during the last minute of cooking. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water in a measuring cup. Drain pasta and rapini in colander.
Add reserved pasta water, lemon zest and Parmesan cheese to the walnut mixture. Stir in pasta and rapine. Serve with additional Parmesan cheese and chili flakes if desired.
Makes 4 servings.
Per serving: about 680 cal, 30 g pro, 39 g fat (10 g sat. fat), 55 g carb, 4 g fibre, 55 mg chol, 700 mg sodium. %RDI: 30% calcium, 25% iron, 150% vit A, 180% Vit C. 40% folate.
Recipe and photo courtesy of walnutinfo.com
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