Rigatoni with Sausage, Peas, and Tarragon

Written by CMP on August 09, 2009

Each July we rent a beach house and my wife and kids spend the month frolicking in the sand and surf. Given that I'm trying to keep my day job, I'm able to spend weekends with them but during the week I'm home - working during the day and trying to figure out what to do with myself during the evenings.

Because I get home from work so late, there's usually not much time to cook anything exciting, and my dinner usually ends up being a beer and a burger at the local pub (while I watch the Yankees), or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich at home.

I did manage to cook twice this July, however. Once it was a ribeye on the grill - and if you don't know yet, let your steak come to room temperature before putting it over the hot coals. The second time was this dish. It was inspired by nothing, really, other than a memory of tarragon and trying to figure out how I could get into my dinner that evening.


  • 1 Pound Rigatoni
  • 4 Sweet Italian Sausages, removed from the casing
  • 1 Clove of Garlic, chopped
  • 1 Pint Grape (or cherry) Tomatoes, cut in halves
  • 1 Package Frozen Peas
  • 3 Tbs Fresh Tarragon, chopped
  • 2 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbs Unsalted Butter

Prepare the pasta in salted water, to just before the al dente stage.

While the pasta is cooking heat a large, deep, skillet over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the olive oil and then the sausage (again, removed from the casings). Brown the sausage well, using a wood spoon to break it up as it cooks. Once the sausage is browned well, add the halved grape tomatoes and garlic. Mix well and add some salt and pepper to taste. As the tomatoes release their liquid, scrape up the brown bits of sausage from the bottom of the pan. Cook the tomatoes about 7 minutes then add frozen peas. Stir them in so they heat through, then add the butter and let it melt into the sauce.

By this time, your pasta should be ready. Drain it well, then pour the rigatoni directly into the pan with the sauce. Mix well and let cook for another couple of minutes.

Mix in the fresh tarragon just before serving.

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