Rigatoni with Goat Cheese, Sausage and Summer Squash

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This pasta dish has few ingredients but the flavor combination is perfect.  The goat cheese and spicy sausage give this dish a very rich grown up taste. It’s a dish that will impress guests when served with some good bread and a nice crisp salad. I have made this a couple of times and it’s received rave reviews. And if there are leftovers they reheat nicely.

Ingredients:

1 pound dried rigatoni noodles

3 T olive oil

1 pound hot Italian sausage

1/3 cup thinly sliced shallots

3-4 cloves of garlic minced

4 zucchini and/or yellow summer squash diced

6 oz goat cheese crumbled

1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

1/4 cup asiago cheese shredded

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Cook pasta according to package instructions.

In a heavy skillet heat 1 T of olive oil. Remove the casings and break up sausage and cook over medium heat until no longer pink.

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Remove the sausage to a strainer over a plate and allow the fat to drain off. Remove most of the fat from the skillet. Add 2 T of olive oil and and cook the shallots and garlic over medium low heat until tender, 1-2 minutes.

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Increase the heat a little and add the cubed squash and cook 3-5 minutes. Add the sausage back into the skillet and keep warm.

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Set aside 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Drain the pasta and stir into the sausage, squash mixture. Over medium heat toss the pasta and sausage. Add the pasta water a little at a time…continue adding to keep the pasta moist. Heat for 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the goat cheese and parsley. Toss until the cheese melts and coats the rigatoni. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with the grated asiago.

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Voila!  It’s that simple. Isn’t that a beautiful dish!  I served this and a red pasta dish together. Always trying to make sure there is something for everyone. Everyone choose BOTH dishes.

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You could use penne pasta for this recipe if that’s what you have on hand. I think the next time I make this I will add some mushrooms along with the squash. Both of my pasta dishes had generous amounts of garlic. No vampires in our house!  But you can rein the garlic back if you’d like. I always consider recipes, particularly for savory dishes, as a template that invites us to make modifications and personalize the dish.

Rigatoni with goat cheese, it’s what was for dinner last night AND tonight.

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