This easy-to-make classic Rigatoni and Sausage recipe is made with everyday easy-to-find organic ingredients. The pasta sauce is authentic yet simple to make with layers of delicious flavor and packed with Sweet Italian Sausage that will have you in and out of the kitchen in no time flat.
One of the things I love about this Rigatoni and Sausage recipe of my Dad’s is he kept his Italian-American recipes simple like my grandmother’s. It was not laden with ingredients like jarred American pasta sauce. No dried spices, such as Italian herb blends, were ever used. He used fresh garlic and herbs and organic canned tomatoes from his garden.
Pasta sauce is supposed to be simple. Some of the very best sauces I have ever tasted didn’t have all the additives you see today on recipe blogs. If you use the right fresh organic ingredients without all the unnecessary powdered spices and herb blends, you will notice a huge difference in the taste. It’s incredible!
I generally only buy organic tomatoes that have the Denominazione d’Origine Protetta stamp aka D.O.P. In the 1990s, tomato growers from the region banded together to form a consortium to regulate production and, in 1996, the European Union granted the consortium the exclusive right to label tomatoes “San Marzano D.O.P.” The abbreviation stands for “Denominazione d’Origine Protetta.
Ingredients needed for the Rigatoni and Sausage
Sweet Italian sausage-aka mild Italian sausage is less spicy. “Sweet” and “mild” are used interchangeably, and what’s known as hot Italian sausage contains hot red pepper flakes that give the sausage some heat.
Organic extra-virgin olive oil – Cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oils taste better and are far healthier than refined oils. Most of the refined oil’s nutritional capacity is lost after exposure to high heat and chemicals. So use the organic extra-virgin olive oil and thank me later.
One Head of garlic- One had of garlic may seem like way too much garlic. You will only be using six cloves of garlic. The garlic is essential for flavor. Do not sub with powdered garlic or minced garlic in a jar. The flavor isn’t the same as the real deal.
Organic Whole San Marzano tomatoes -San Marzano’ Italy is home to these deep red, plum-type tomatoes. ‘San Marzanos’ are grown in the Campania region’s rich soil and are among the world’s best paste types. Trust me. You can taste the difference and will never think of adding sugar to your sauce again. Just be sure to look for the D.O.P. stamp so that you know you are getting the real deal.
Kosher salt– Kosher salt has more comprehensive, coarser grains vs. table salt. The wider grains salt food in a gentler way than table salt. Using kosher salt enhances the flavor of foods instead of making them taste salty. Kosher salt has no iodine, which can lend a bitter taste to foods salted with table salt.
Rigatoni pasta – A form of tube-shaped pasta of varying lengths and diameters originating in Italy. They are larger than penne and ziti and sometimes slightly curved.
Organic Italian parsley- Parsley, though not a fragrant herb, is a beautiful herb to use in no pasta sauce. You may be tempted to add the fresh herb to the sauce when you add the tomatoes. For the best flavor, wait until the sauce is almost done before adding the parsley.
Fresh Basil – is commonly used fresh in cooked pasta sauce recipes. The fresh basil should only be added at the last moment to the pasta sauce, as cooking quickly destroys the basil’s flavor. I usually hand tear mine and add to the top of my pasta before serving the best results.
Pecorino Romano– One of the most famous Italian cheeses, Romano cheese is made from pasteurized or unpasteurized milk using animal, plant, or microbial rennet. While Pecorino Romano, made from sheep’s milk, is sharp and quite tangy.
Tips for Cooking the Perfect Pasta for your Rigatoni and Sausage
Fill the stockpot appropriately: Use plenty of cold fresh water so that once the pasta begins to expand and cook, there will be plenty of room for the pasta to cook as well as move freely while preparing.
Do not add any oil to the boiling water: Adding oil most likely will cause the Sauce not to bond correctly or your pasta to become oily.
Always add coarse salt to the water: Add salt to the water before adding pasta to add flavor to the pasta.
Bring the water to a full boil before adding pasta to the water. Add the pasta slowly and immediately stir the pasta.
Follow the package instructions: It is essential to follow instructions on the cooking times package as they may vary by type or brand.
Save some of the water off the cooked pasta: Usually, one cup of water from the cooked pasta is enough.
Drain the pasta: Do not let the pasta sit in a colander for more than a moment, as you will dry out your pasta.
Suggested Equipment for Rigatoni and Sausage
Sharp kitchen knife
Rigatoni and Sausage
- Sharp kitchen knife
- Cutting Board
- Large saucepan
- Large Pasta pot
- Wooden Spoon
- 1 pound sweet Italian Sausage browned and sliced
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil organic
- 6 cloves garlic chopped
- 32- ounces San Marzano tomatoes hand crushed
- 1½ teaspoons Kosher salt or to taste
- ½ cup parsley chopped
- 6 basil leaves hand torn
- 1 pound Rigatoni cooked al dente
- 1 cup pasta water add to sauce
- Pecorino Romano grated or shaved
- Heat a medium to large skillet on medium heat. Remove the Italian sausage links from the packaging. Place the sausage links in the skillet and brown all sides. Remove the sausage from the skillet and place it on a clean cutting board. Once cool, slice the sausage and reserve.
- Drizzle organic extra-virgin olive oil into a large pan over medium heat. Chop the fresh garlic and add it to the olive oil. Saute the chopped garlic until it just starts to become a golden brown.
- Turn the heat up to medium-high under a large pot. Hand crush the tomatoes. Then add the San Marzano tomatoes to the pot, place a lid on the top to prevent the tomatoes' bubbling and popping for about 1 minute. Stir with a wooden spoon, and lower the heat—Cook at a rapid simmer for a few minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large pot, add cold water and kosher salt to season the noodles. Do not add butter or oil to the pot. Cook the noodles until al dente. Reserve one cup of pasta water for the sauce before draining the noodles. Do not rinse.
- Then add the kosher salt, garlic, and the Italian Sweet Sausage to the sauce, 1 cup of reserved pasta water, and continue to simmer the sauce and stir it frequently. The sauce will thicken in about 7 to 8 minutes.
- Turn off the heat under the pot and add the fresh basil and chopped parsley. Stir the sauce to combine herbs.
- Once the pasta is done, do not rinse the pasta. Immediately add it to the sauce. Combine the pasta and sauce. Top with cheese and extra herbs.
Although themccallumsshamrockpatch.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and how ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Under no circumstances will themccallumsshamrockpatch.com be responsible for any loss or damage resulting from your reliance on nutritional information.For the full details, tips, tricks, and recommendations, read the blog post for important information you are missing on this recipe.
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