I am Ryan, and I did not know how to cook until I was 28 years old. My typical dinner was a baked chicken from the grocery store, along with some carrots and hummus. I ate it at least 5 times a week. Now I would describe myself as somebody who has a love of food, but a limited repertoire. What I do have, though, are some staple recipes I’ve tweaked over the years that have become my go-to favourites. I’ll be trying to share one recipe a month with you and all my fellow giants.
These recipes are meant for beginners who are learning to cook. I will try to go over giant techniques as well in a separate post. This will explain basic cutting techniques and cooking techniques for people like me who (unlike Jess) did not grow up studying the Food Network.
Each of these recipes will probably have a few things in common: 1) there will be a lot of food; 2) the recipe will not be too difficult; and 3) it should not take more than 90 minutes to make. With that being said, here is my first giant recipe!
Baked Rigatoni with Chicken and Sausage
Makes 4-6 giant servings | Takes 90 minutes
What you need:
- 4 assorted bell peppers
- 1 zucchini
- 1 large onion
- 1 Tbsp of pureed garlic
- 1 pkg (900g) rigatoni
- 1.25 L of pasta sauce (your choice)
- 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1 tsp sage
- 1 tsp cayenne
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 2 tsp paprika
- S & P
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
1. Preheat your oven to 375ºF.
2. Chop your veggies! First, seed and cut the peppers into 1-inch pieces. Then cut the zucchini into quarter chunks. Dice the onion.
3. Cut the chicken breasts into 1-inch cubes. Slice sausage into similar small chunks.
4. Season the chicken breasts with garlic powder, salt, pepper, sage, onion powder, and paprika.
5. Fill a large pot with cold water and a pinch of salt. Place on stove over high heat and bring to a boil. Add the pasta, and while you are cooking the meat and veg, stir occasionally and cook until al-dente (or according to package instructions). Drain in a sieve and set aside.
6. Heat a large cooking pan with olive oil over medium-high heat. Fry the seasoned chicken for approximately 3-5 minutes on both sides. Place on a plate with a paper towel and set aside. The chicken does not need to be done all the way through since it is going into the oven later.
7. Fry the sausage in the same pan until brown on both sides. Place on the plate with the chicken. These also do not need to be completely done, since they are also going in the oven.
8. Place your diced veggies in the large pan. After mixing well, cover and let cook over medium heat. Cook until soft, about 10 minutes.
9. Place the meat into the pan with the veggies. Mix together before lowering heat and adding the pasta sauce. Combine well before adding in the pasta. Stir all together.
10. Place your pasta in a large casserole dish and cover generously with cheese. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or until the cheese on top is bubbly and golden brown.
11. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before digging in.
So that is the first recipe. Please let me know if you enjoyed it!