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Wednesday, February 8, 2023


 I was searching for a pasta recipe that was a little different than the typical red sauce variety and decided to try this one out.  Not only was the sauce delicious, but I loved the rigatoni....those thick ribbed noodles allowed the sauce to stick to them so nicely.  I made this for a recent dinner and everyone loved it.  I added a salad before dinner and freshly baked bread with dinner and it was delicious!

I will tell you that I doubled the sauce recipe, since I love an extra saucy pasta.   It even allowed us to enjoy a second dinner (we just had to make a little bit more pasta) later in the week. 

Serves 6-8 people


16 oz. rigatoni pasta (save 1 cup water)
3 Tbsp. olive oil
½ cup onion, chopped
1 lb. ground Italian sausage
3-4 cloves garlic, minced (we opt for less)
½ tsp. crushed fennel seeds
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes 
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
salt and pepper to taste
fresh chopped parsley


1.  Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add the sausage.  Cook, breaking into small pieces, until no longer pink.  Drain grease.  
2.  Add garlic, fennel seed, red pepper and tomato paste and cook a few minutes more.  Stir in the broth and simmer until liquid is reduced by half.  
3,  Cook rigatoni according to package directions.  Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water
4.  Add the cream to the sauce and bring to a simmer.  Gradually add pasta water (I chose not to add any water since I liked the consistency just the way it was) until sauce reaches desired consistency.  Stir in ¼ cup parmesan cheese.
5.  Combine the sauce with the drained pasta.  Garnish with fresh parsley and more parmesan cheese.  

I served this family style in a large bowl, allowing each person to dish up their own bowl.   

recipe c/o:

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