Rigatoni with Crumbled Sausage & Tomato Cream

If I had to choose three foods I couldn’t live without, I’d choose pasta, bread, and cheese. Talk about health foods, right? Throw chocolate in there, and I’d be a happy camper.

I LOVE pasta. The weekend has almost arrived, and I’m practically and literally drooling on my keyboard over the idea that I will be making myself a giant bowl of this pasta dish.

Rigatoni is a perfectly-shaped pasta for chunky, tomato-based pastas. In this dish, each piece of pasta fills up with chunks of crumbled sausage and crushed tomato as it’s tossed in a luxurious basil-scented sauce hit with just a touch of cream to create a silky richness.

I use half spicy Italian sausage and half sweet Italian sausage for just a bit of heat, cooled by a generous dollop of whole milk ricotta and freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

Warning: steer far, far away if you’re on a diet. Will-power won’t cut it here!

 

 

 

Makes: for 4 people

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Total time: 45 minutes

The Ingredients

1-pound rigatoni (or sub penne if you don’t have rigatoni!)

4-5 spicy or sweet Italian sausages, meat removed from casings

28-ounce can good-quality crushed tomatoes (San Marzano tomatoes are the best)

1 yellow onion, chopped

2 large cloves garlic, minced

~1/3 cup heavy cream (more or less to taste)

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Fresh basil, to garnish

Whole milk ricotta, to garnish

Grated Parmesan or Parmigiano-Reggiano, to garnish

The Steps

Cook and crumble sausage meat out of the casing in a dry pot over medium heat. Cook until sausage is crumbled into bite-sized pieces, there is no more pink, and meat is cooked through (about 10 minutes).

In a large pot, add olive oil, garlic, and onion. Over medium-low heat, sauté for 2 minutes. Add cooked sausage.

Turn heat to medium-low and add crushed tomatoes. Let simmer while occasionally stirring for 5 minutes.

Turn heat to low and add heavy cream to create a blush sauce. Stir in a handful of basil.

Remove from heat and stir sauce into al dente rigatoni. Spoon into pasta bowls, adding a garnish of fresh basil, a generous dollop of ricotta, and grated cheese.

What a bowl of comfort!

 

 

 

The Steps with Pictures

Cook and crumble sausage meat out of the casing in a dry pot over medium heat. Cook until sausage is crumbled into bite-sized pieces, there is no more pink, and meat is cooked through (about 10 minutes).

In a large pot, add olive oil, garlic, and onion. Over medium-low heat, sauté for 2 minutes. Add cooked sausage.

Turn heat to medium-low and add crushed tomatoes. Let simmer while occasionally stirring for 5 minutes.

Turn heat to low and add heavy cream to create a blush sauce. Stir in a handful of basil.

Remove from heat and stir sauce into al dente rigatoni. Spoon into pasta bowls, adding a garnish of fresh basil, a generous dollop of ricotta, and grated cheese.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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