Roasted Garlic and Asparagus Rigatoni with Sweet Italian Chicken Sausage

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Ingredients

  • 16 ounces rigatoni
  • 1-1/2 cups reserved pasta water
  • 2 sweet Italian chicken sausages
  • 1 garlic bulb
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 1/2 cup grated pecorino romano cheese, divided
  • 1/3 cup olive oil, plus 3 tablespoons
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt for asparagus, plus some for the pasta water
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut garlic bulb in half, crosswise. Lay on a piece of aluminum foil. Drizzle olive oil over garlic and wrap in foil. Place in a small baking dish and put in the oven for 40 minutes to roast.

Place chicken sausages on a small sheet pan and roast in the same 400 degree oven for 40 minutes. After they are done and cooled a bit, cut the sausages into bite size pieces.

Sauté asparagus in 3 tablespoons olive oil with a 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes. Sauté for 10 minutes. If you like your asparagus a little more well done, continue to cook for another 7-10 minutes.

Cook rigatoni according to directions on box.

Once garlic is done, open the foil packet and pull the garlic heads out to place in your food processor. This is easy to do with a small knife as the garlic will be very soft. To the food processor, add 1/4 cup of grated pecorino romano. Pulse together until the garlic is pureéd. With the processor still going, slowly add the olive oil through the feed tube until a paste is formed. Add this mixture to the asparagus that you’ve sauteéd.

Combine the rigatoni with the asparagus and roasted garlic, along with one and a half cups of the pasta liquid. Before mixing together, add another 1/4 cup of the cheese. Mix together and let the liquid cook down a bit. Add the chicken sausages to the pasta. Enjoy!

Until next time, Kris