If dinner needs to be on the table quickly, this pear, gouda, and chicken sausage rigatoni with spinach is one recipe you'll want to remember.
From the photo, it might look like there isn't a sauce on the pasta, but rest assured there is. It's a simple pan sauce. Never made a pan sauce? No worries, read on to find out how its done.
If you love this flavor combination, make sure to try our recipe for pear, gouda, and almond salad.
See recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
How to Make
Gather all the ingredients; then cut the sausage, red pepper, gouda, and red pear. Toss the pear in lime juice to prevent it from turning brown.
- In a large skillet, saute the sausage, red pepper, red pear, and spinach.
- De-glaze the skillet with white wine using a flat wooden spoon, called a turner.
Cook the wine until it is reduced by half, then remove from heat. Whisk in butter one tablespoon at a time and season with salt and pepper.
3. Pour the simple pan sauce over the rigatoni noodles.
4. Stir to coat the pasta.
5. Add the rigatoni and the sausage mixture back to the skillet. Stir and heat through.
6. Serve in a pretty serving bowl. Garnish with tiny cubes of Gouda, fresh thyme leaves, and a grind or two fresh black pepper.
Picture perfect. Now all that's left to do is bring it to a table of hungry children and let them dig in!
De-glaze the pan with a flavorful liquid, like white wine, or a combination of wine and stock. Scrap off the caramelized bits on the bottom with a flat wooden spoon called a turner and bring to a boil. Reduce liquid to half. This should take 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in the fat: either butter or cream.
If you want to thicken the sauce, return to the heat and whisk in a bit of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water or stock. Season with salt and pepper. To change things up, whisk in Dijon mustard, miso, or Worcestershire sauce after step 4, or add shallots, garlic, and fresh herbs to the pan before step 1.
If you're looking for other pasta recipes, you'll want to try our recipes for Panera mac and cheese, Panera broccoli mac and cheese, Chick-fil-A mac and cheese, creamy bow tie pasta, American goulash, Caprese pesto pasta salad, and alfredo basil sauce.
Leftovers: Unfortunately, this recipe doesn't freeze that well. It tastes best if eaten the same day, but if you have leftovers, cover them tightly and they will keep for up to 3 days, with the exception of the red pear. Make sure the pear is eaten the same day.
- Cook your pasta until al-dente.
- Use a stainless steel or cast iron skillet.
- De-glaze your pan with white wine.
- For your pan sauce, add butter or cream for your fat.
- Cut the Gouda into tiny cubes instead of grating it for the garnish.
- Use fresh thyme during the garnish stage instead of in the pan sauce.
Other Pasta Dishes You'll Love
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Pear, Gouda, and Chicken Sausage Rigatoni
- 8 ounces dry rigatoni
- 1 teaspoon salt, for cooking pasta
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound pear, gouda, and chicken sausage, pre-cooked and coined
- 1 ½ cup red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 red pear, cored and cubed into bite size pieces
- 1 tablespoon lime juice, toss with the pear
- 4 cups fresh spinach
- 1 ½ cups white cooking wine
- 3 tablespoons butter, cut into 1 tablespoon pats
- kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
- ½ cup gouda cheese, finely cubed
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, for garnish
- Fresh black pepper, for garnish
- Cook the rigatoni with salt according to the package directions until it is al dente. Drain then toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil.
- While the water is boiling for the pasta, start on the sausage mixture. Pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil into a large skillet over medium high heat, then add the sausage and the red pepper. Cook for 4 minutes while stirring occasionally. Add the pear, that has been tossed in lime juice, and cook for 2 minutes, then add the spinach and stir constantly until it is wilted and has turned a bright green.
- Remove the sausage mixture from the skillet and transfer to a large plate.
- Start making the pan sauce by deglazing the pan with the wine over medium high heat. Scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan (called fond) with a flat wooden spoon. The fond will add flavor to the sauce.
- Cook until the wine is reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in one tablespoon of butter at a time. Season to taste with a sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
- Pour the pan sauce over the pasta and stir until well coated.
- Add the pasta and sausage mixture back to the skillet, set over medium heat, and stir until well combined. Cook for 3 minutes or until heated through.
- Serve immediately with a garnish of smoked Gouda cubes and a generous sprinkle of fresh thyme and cracked black pepper.
- Al-dente pasta is what you want.
- Use white wine to de-glaze the pan.
- Butter or cream are great choices for your pan sauce's fat component.
- This dish looks best when the Gouda is cut into tiny cubes.
- Instead of using it in the pan sauce, use the fresh thyme during the garnish stage.
Serving sizes and nutritional information are only an estimate and may vary from your results.