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Whole Wheat Pasta with Chicken Sausage, Pesto and Green Bean

Serves: Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces fully cooked chicken sausage, thinly sliced
  • 6 ounces green beans, trimmed and halved
  • 8 ounces whole wheat pasta, such as fusilli
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • ½ cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 large bunches basil, washed and dried, stems removed
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • ¼ cup lemon juice, plus more as needed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Procedures:

Whole wheat pasta, which is packed with vitamins, minerals and more fiber than its white counterparts, has seen a resurgence in popularity over the last few years which has also lead to better variety and flavor.

To prepare pesto: In the bowl of a food processor, fitted with a metal blade, add the garlic, pine nuts and basil; pulse to a rough chop. Add olive oil in a steady steam and process to a smooth paste. Stop motor and add cheese and lemon juice, stirring by hand to combine. Taste and season with salt, pepper and more lemon juice as needed. Set aside.

To cook beans: Place a large pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil. When boiling, add salt and beans and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove and set aside.

To cook pasta: Place the pasta into the boiling water and cook, stirring frequently, until the pasta is al dente (about 8 to 10 minutes). Reserve approximately a cup of the pasta water for use later to thin sauce, if needed. Use a colander to drain, gently shaking to remove the excess moisture and transfer to a large bowl.

To prepare pasta: Place a large nonstick skillet on the stove over a moderate heat and add the oil. When the oil is shimmering, add the cooked sausages and cook until browned, about 4 minutes. Add the beans and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Add the cooked pasta and pesto and toss until well combined, adding some of the reserved pasta water to loosen the sauce, if necessary. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

To serve: Divide the pasta between 4 pasta bowls. If desired, sprinkle with grated Parmesan and serve immediately.

Tested and perfected in the Sur la Table kitchen

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