Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Rigatoni with Sausage, Peppers, and Onions

There are so many ways to make pasta; so it must be a very tasty one to make its way into our regular rotation. This recipe from Giada De Laurentiis is one of those! It is from her book Everyday Pasta which has a lot of great recipes. The recipe below has my minor adaptations as well as measurements to make half of her original recipe. Giada is very generous with her portion sizes - her original recipe says that it serves 4-6 but I beg to differ!

But first a word about tomato paste. When I started cooking way back in 2006 (heehee) I bought the cans of tomato paste and ended up either wasting the rest of the can when the recipe called for a tablespoon or so; or would take time to freeze the leftovers in one tablespoon increments. Then I was pointed in this direction:

The tube of tomato paste can be a little more expensive than the cans; but in buying it you are assured of using each and every last drop. Just store in the refrigerator between uses.

The Marsala wine and simmering time to thicken the sauce really make this dish. I served it with arugula tossed with red wine vinaigrette.

Rigatoni with Sausage, Peppers, and Onions
adapted from Giada De Laurentiis
Makes 3-4 servings

8 ounces hot Italian sausage
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 Vidalia onion, sliced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 cup Marsala wine
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, with juice
8 ounces rigatoni pasta, uncooked
freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausages and cook until brown on all sides, about 7 to 10 minutes. If the skillet gets too dry, add a few tablespoons of water from time to time. Remove the sausages from the pan.

Add the olive oil to the pan. Reduce heat to medium and add bell pepper, onion, salt, and black pepper and cook until golden, about 5 minutes.

Add the tomato paste and stir until incorporated, then add Marsala and diced tomatoes with juice. Stir to combine, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen all the brown bits. Bring to a simmer.

Slice the sausages into 8 pieces each, add to the pan. Simmer uncovered until the sauce has thickened, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 9 minutes. Drain the pasta and add to the sauce, toss to combine. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.


Anonymous said...

I enjoy seeing your hands in the pictures.

Today I ate leftovers of your:
Tri-Colore Orzo
Shoepeg Salsa
Blueberry Crumb Bars

Thanks for feeding me :)

Hilary said...

I didn't realize tomato paste came in a tube, that's great. I always feel bad wasting the majority of the can just to get the small amount required for a recipe. And the dish looks great!

BMK said...

Looks delicious. Thanks for the review, I've been wanting to try this recipe for a while. I'll have to look for the tomato paste in the tube-great tip.

Anonymous said...

The idea of tomato paste in a tube is genius. I always use like half the can and just toss it.

Cate said...

This looks like a great hearty dinner!