This simple one-skillet dinner is ready in less than an hour. Doc and I enjoy this dish in Little Italy whenever we visit Boston.
Rigatoni with Italian Sausage, Onions, and Red Peppers
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound mild Italian sausage, ground or links
with casings removed and broken into small pieces
2 red peppers, sliced ¼-inch thick
1 small onion, Cut in half and sliced ¼-inch thick
¾ cup matchstick carrots (pre-cut in the produce isle)
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
½ cup dry white wine (I use Pinot Grigio)
1 (28 ounce) can whole, peeled, plum tomatoes (for authentic flavor buy San Marzano tomatoes from Italy)
½ teaspoon dried oregano leaves
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Kosher salt, to taste
1 pound rigatoni
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
Garnish: ¾ cup ricotta cheese and ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Drizzle olive oil in a large stockpot. Add Italian sausage and cook over medium high heat, breaking into small pieces until browned, about 5 minutes. Remove sausage to a plate and reserve. Keep oil and pan drippings in skillet.
Add peppers, onions, carrots, and garlic to stockpot. Cook over medium heat 5-7 minutes until onions are translucent. Stir in wine. Add tomatoes and 1 cup water. Cut whole tomatoes into large chunks with a fork. Add oregano, fennel and red pepper flakes. Season, to taste, with kosher salt.
Simmer sauce 15 minutes. While sauce is simmering cook rigatoni in water seasoned with salt and 1 teaspoon olive oil. Cook pasta according to package directions. When pasta is al dente, drain reserving ½ cup pasta water. Set pasta and reserved pasta water aside.
Add parsley and basil to tomato sauce. Stir in rigatoni and Italian sausage. If needed, add a little pasta water to loosen sauce. Garnish with dollops of ricotta cheese and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
Published in The News and Neighbor on September 26, 2018