the review: rigatoni with sausage and broccoli

I’m feeling pretty good about the fact that we actually made four out of six planned meals this week. Considering all of the elf business that is going on around here, that’s not a bad score. And almost everything was a hit. We skipped the pizza (no big loss there) and the Chicken Tikka Masala. Look for the chicken dish in an upcoming menu. If you made it already, I’m waiting for your review.

You should definitely try Monday’s Red Beans, Tuesday’s Greek Meatballs and Orzo Salad, and Friday’s Rigatoni. All four of these dishes were flavorful, easy to prepare, and quick (except the Red Beans, which were quick to prepare then sit there in the slow cooker for seven hours).

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I almost didn’t make Friday’s Rigatoni because I realized as I was making the grocery list that it called for anchovies. But, like a good girl, I read the entire recipe and the comments, which said not to skip the anchovies even if you were tempted to do so. Those people were talking to me. I used the anchovies. They gave great flavor to the dish and it was not fishy in the slightest. The kids didn’t even know I had used anchovies and all five that ate with us last night had seconds.

Do yourself a favor and save your pasta water to help make the sauce. I always forget this step, even when the recipe calls for it, and it really does make a difference in the flavor and texture of the completed pasta dish. In other words, follow the directions on this recipe and you will end up with an empty bowl of pasta on your table. This dish was gone fast.

(An update: Last night was date night so the older kids made pizza. They said it was terrible. I couldn’t understand how it could have been terrible (at least to a teenager) when there was pre-made crust in the refrigerator. That would be because they used frozen pie crust instead. They “couldn’t find” the pizza crust. Oh boy.)