home cooked dinners by the season

All-in-one Summer Dinner Pasta

All-in-one Summer Dinner Pasta

The idea of cooking dinner every night can be overwhelming. This quote I saw on instagram sums it up, even for me and I truly enjoy cooking.

“Who knew the hardest part of being an adult is

figuring out what to cook for dinner

every single night of the week

for the rest of your life until you die”.

With many of you having what I call years “of cooking around the track every night” isn’t it time for a hall pass? Or for those of you with less years behind you but knowing this is ahead? We know we deserve it.

But with this said, I do cook dinner most nights of the week. I like being in control of what I eat. The freshness and quality of ingredients, the nutritional benefits and especially the taste. My everyday cooking has become more streamlined than ever. The strategy is a little planning ahead. Armed with an easy recipe and the ingredients in your refrigerator, you will avoid the later afternoon frustration of not knowing what you are having for dinner. This is a deal breaker for cooking dinner. It is also one of the reasons why I think dinner take out and delivery food have soared in popularity.

Here is my new summer favorite. Lightly caramelized red onion, flavorful Italian chicken sausage, cannelini beans and fresh rosemary all cooked in one pan. The light sauce that just coats the ingredients is a reserved cup of the hot pasta cooking water with a little butter and grated parmesan. Off heat, fresh peppery arugula is added.

Cheers to summer and a little planning ahead!

All-in-one Summer Dinner Pasta
  • 8 ounces spiral or tube pasta like gemelli, fusilli, penne or ziti
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, added in various stages
  • 2 cups thinly sliced red onion (1 medium red onion)
  • 1-pound bulk Italian chicken sausage
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic (1 medium clove)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary (1 teaspoon dried can be substituted)
  • 1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed and drained again
  • 1 cup reserved pasta cooking water
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 package arugula (5 ounces or about 5 cups) or thinly sliced kale (stems removed)
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  1. Begin by cooking the pasta to streamline time.
  2. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until cooked according to package directions. Before draining pasta scoop out 1 cup cooking water and set aside for later in the recipe. Drain pasta: toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and set aside while continuing with the rest of the recipe.
  3. In a medium size saucepan heat 2 Tablespoons olive oil over medium heat; add onions and stir to evenly coat with oil and allow to cook and lightly brown before stirring, about 2 minutes. Stir then allow to cook and lightly brown without stirring, another 2 minutes.
  4. Push onions to one side of the pan and add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil; add sausage, breaking sausage up into smaller bite size pieces and allowing to brown before turning, about 2 minutes; turn sausage and push around the entire pan, mingling with onions; cook until sausage is cooked through, about 3-4 minutes, adding garlic near the end just to release its flavor and soften.
  5. Add rosemary and stir to coat evenly; then add the 1 cup drained pasta water, parmesan cheese and butter to the sausage and onions, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan and stirring to make a light sauce. Cook to heat through, about 1 minute then add drained pasta. and beans. Cook on low heat, just to heat all the ingredients, about 1 minute.
  6. Season with salt, pepper and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Remove from heat.
  7. Add arugula and toss to evenly combine.

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1 thought on “All-in-one Summer Dinner Pasta”

  • Love this recipe! So delicious, light, flavorful and easy! I’ll be making this again next week!

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