I love noodles.   Who doesn’t?  A plate of  gooey Mac and cheese (Kraft), spaghetti-o’s or Mom’s lasagne could be found on our table as often as a steaming bowl of won ton noodles or plate of chow mein. Today, living in the Bay Area, my noodle choices seem infinite;  shoyu ramen or Vietnamese pho, pad thai or chop jae, all just a stone’s throw away or fortunately for “Silicon Valley-ites”, just an app (Door Dash) delivery away!

In full defiance of our “carb-phobia” there are times when a bowl of pasta just hits the spot. A couple of new favorites and a tried and true cold noodle salad, perfect for the summer grace this post.  Let me know if you like them.

Rigatoni with Butternut Squash, Spicy Sausage and Arugula

Rigatoni with Butternut Squash, Spicy Sausage and Arugula


  • Adapted from Giada's Pasta with Butternut Squash and Spicy Sausage
  • 1 pound rigatoni
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus 3 tablespoons for finishing
  • 1 pound spicy Italian sausage, casing removed
  • 1 pound butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/3 inch pieces (when I'm press for time buy the precut squash from TJ's
  • 1-2 coves of garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 minced shallot, or quarter of a yelow onion minced.
  • 1 1/2 cups water or broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 - 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 2 cups roughly chopped baby arugula or baby spinach


  • Bring pot of water to boil, add 1 tsp salt and pasta. Cook as directed for al dente and drain in colander. Set pasta aside. In a saute pan heat 2 T olive oil, add garlic and shallots and saute until translucent and just about to brown. Add sausage, and break it into smaller pieces while sauteing until it loses its pink color. Add squash and stir until combined. Add water or broth and simmer until squash is tender and liquid has been reduced by approximately half around 10 minutes. Add pasta and 3/4 of parmesan cheese to pan and toss to incorporate pasta and sauce. Pour pasta into bowl and add arugula or spinach and toss to slightly wilt greens. Serve immediately.
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Thanks for reading, comments welcomed!