Recipe Corner: Sausage Rigatoni with Basil and Peas


By Christine Vartanian Datian

1 pound sweet Italian sausage or turkey sausage, casings removed

1 pound package rigatoni pasta or your favorite whole-wheat pasta

1 large onion, chopped

1 medium red or green bell pepper, chopped

1 1/2 cups fresh mushrooms, diced

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1 cup frozen peas

2-3 cloves fresh garlic, chopped

1 1/2 cups heavy cream (more to taste)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Sea or Kosher salt and coarse black pepper

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Zest of one lemon

Olive oil


Chopped fresh basil, about a 1/2 cup

Parmesan or Romano cheese as garnish

Crushed red pepper flakes as garnish


Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a full boil and cook the pasta until tender, about 10 minutes; drain the pasta, set aside, and keep warm.

In a large skillet, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil and brown the sausage; drain the sausage, add the onions, bell pepper, and garlic, and cook until the onions are golden brown; add the mushrooms and peas, toss a few times, and cook for five minutes longer; add the cream, butter, salt, pepper, nutmeg and lemon zest and mix to combine.

Bring these ingredients to a light boil and cook for 10 minutes on low heat. Add more cream, if desired, then add the fresh basil and cooked pasta, toss a few times, and serve. Top each serving with cheese and red pepper flakes to taste.

Serves 4.

Christine’s recipes have been published in the Fresno Bee, Sunset and Cooking Light Magazines, and at
For Christine’s recipes that have been published in Sunset and Cooking Light Magazines, go to: <


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