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Wednesday, August 17, 2011


This Farmers Market Pasta was the second pasta I served at my parents 40th anniversary party.  Like usual I found a recipe that seemed like a good one BUT I tweaked it here and there to make it my own.  The original recipe I found was a Tyler Florence recipe.  His recipe included ground pork sausage, but I switched that out for grilled and sliced italian sausage.  I also added sliced mushrooms and quartered artichoke hearts.  I roasted some grape tomatoes with sliced garlic and olive oil with some kosher salt and fresh ground pepper and that created the "sauce" when mixed with a little of the salted pasta water.  This dish was a hit!  The key to making the dish a success was to cook/saute each fresh ingredient one by one.  In this way they are cooked the way each ingredient should be cooked.  The zuchinni is not overcooked and mushy and the mushrooms stay in tact and keep their shape.  Once everything is grilled, cooked, roasted and sauted you can add them quickly to the pasta so not to overcook anything.  Toss it all in in a big bowl with a ton of fresh grated parmesan cheese and you will have a pasta dish that everyone comes back for seconds for!!!!


  • 1 package sweet italian sausage ( 6 links)
  • 2 zuchinnis, sliced into 1/4 inch slices (skin kept on)
  • 1 pint mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 - 12 oz. jar/can quartered artichoke hearts (in water), drained
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (plus more for finishing pasta)
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • crushed red pepper and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1 lb. rigatoni pasta
  • 1 cup reserved pasta water
  • 1 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped basil

  1. Grill sausage links on outdoor or indoor grill.  Slice into 1/4 inch slices.  Set aside.
  2. Place about a tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan.  Add zuchinni slices.  Sprinkle with a bit of salt and fresh ground pepper.  Saute for about 3-4 minutes.  Do not overcook as the zuchinni will become "mushy".  Set aside.
  3. Place about a tablespoon of olive oil in the same large pan.  Add mushrooms.  Sprinkle with a bit of salt and fresh ground pepper.  Saute for about 3-4 minutes.  Again, do not overcook as the mushrooms will get too soft as well.
  4. Place grape tomatoes in a medium sized bowl.  Add 1/4 cup of olive oil, sliced garlic, kosher salt, crushed red pepper and fresh ground pepper.  Toss until tomatoes are completely coated.  Place mixture on a cookie sheet.  Roast in oven at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes or until tomatoes shrink, "pop" and start to produce juice.  Set aside.
  5. In the meantime heat a large pot of salted to boiling.  Add rigatoni pasta and cook for about 8 minutes or cooked until aldente.  Reserve 1 cup of the salted pasta water.  Set pasta aside.
  6. In a large high sided pan add the pasta, reserved pasta water, grilled sausage, sauted zuchinni, sauted mushrooms, drained artichoke hearts and roasted tomato mixture.  Place heat on simmer and toss pasta and other ingredients together.  Cook for about 3 minutes until pasta has started to absorb the juices.
  7. Place in large bowl and toss with chopped basil and grated parmesan.
  8. Serve

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