I love pasta salad ANY time of the year, but it is especially a spring BBQ side dish favorite. Here is a new one - Pesto Orecchiette with Chicken Sausage - for you to test out that could even include sausage cooked on the grill! It is an easy pasta dish, ready in under twenty minutes, and always a crowd-pleaser!
Ingredients you need:
- 12 ounces orecchiette or similar pasta (we used shells)
- 1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 8 ounces fully cooked Italian-style chicken sausage links, thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup pesto
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan (2 ounces)
Step 1: Cook the pasta following the instructions on the package, adding the green beans and peas during the last 3 minutes of cooking.
Step 2: Save 1 cup of the cooking water for later before draining the pasta and vegetables.
Step 3: Put them back in the pot.
Step 4: While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Step 5: Cook the sausage, turning occasionally until browned, 6 to 8 minutes - or, if you so choose, fire up the grill instead! Just be sure to slice the sausage AFTER they are grilled if that's the route you go.
Step 6: Mix the sausage, pesto, Parmesan, and 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking water to the pasta and vegetables and toss together. Add more cooking water if the pasta seems dry.
This recipe is a keeper! Simple and delicious! I hope you will love this recipe as much as we do! It's hearty and just so good.
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