The story of Chicken Sausage on Whole Wheat Pasta with
Wilted Arugula and Goat Cheese:
Whole wheat pasta can stand up to strong flavors, as a matter of fact, I would think it’s safe to say that whole wheat pasta requires strong flavors.
I know a lot of you might be turned off by whole wheat pasta, they used to be so, well, grainy, chewy, not at all pleasant in your mouth. But, the makers of pasta have come a long way to make their products more palatable, and we all know and recognize that whole wheat is better for you than refined flour. That said, I still like my bad for me pasta, at times, but when possible, and when a recipe idea fits, I will eat whole wheat.
If you are gluten-free, there are a number of good kinds of pasta made out of Quinoa and also rice pasta. Just know, rice pasta does not reheat well.
This recipe for Chicken Sausage on Whole Wheat Pasta with Wilted Arugula and Goat Cheese is really a delightful combination of earth, cream, and pepperiness.
Goat cheese is earthy and creamy, while the arugula adds a natural pepperiness to the dish.
If you wanted to, you could use feta and spinach in their place. It won’t be the same, but it would still be delish.
If you have kids that object to “green stuff” in their food, you can omit the green, or just chop it smaller, so the flavor is there but the tell tell signs of being a vegetable are indistinguishable. Children need to learn to enjoy the flavors of vegetables as they get over the perceived “icky” factor. And what they don’t know, can only help them grow to love all foods. Speaking of which, arugula is really easy to grow, and it grows quickly. It’s a perfect garden item (or container item that your kids can grow fresh and harvest. It takes a lot of the ick factor away when they plant, nourish, and grow it themselves.
Chicken Sausage on Whole Wheat Pasta with Wilted Arugula and Goat Cheese
1 package of cooked chicken sausage (I used al Fresco's Garlic Chicken Sausage)
8 ounces whole wheat penne pasta (or your could use fusilli)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus a bit for sautéing the sausange
3 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil, drained), chopped
3 tablespoons sliced kalamata olives
1 (5 ounce) bag baby arugula, divided
8 ounces goat cheese, broken into large chunks, divided
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Cook the pasta according to package directions, drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
Heat a little bit of olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium heat; add the sausage and cook until browned. Set-aside.
Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat; add the cooked pasta along with the sun-dried tomatoes and olives; cook, tossing well until all is coated with oil. Add 3/4 of the bag of arugula and 1/2 of the goat cheese. Toss until the arugula is wilted and the goat cheese is melted; add a bit of pasta water to make a creamy sauce.
Cut the sausage on the bias, spoon the pasta mixture into warmed bowls, top with remaining arugula, goat cheese, and the sliced sausage.