Do you feel the chill in the air? When you go outside in the morning, can you smell fall? Nothing says fall and winter to me than the changing of our meal planning and preparation. Cooler, shorter and wetter days call for stick-to-the-ribs meal plans.
This pasta dish is super easy and very filling. Do yourself a favor and let the sauce simmer for one hour before adding the cream. Letting the flavors meld together make this sauce irresistible.
Italian Sausage Rigatoni with Spicy Cream Sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, remove from casings if in casings
14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
8 ounce can tomato sauce
6 ounce can tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasonning
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (more or less if desired)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh prepared basil pesto
1 pound Rigatoni Pasta
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus 2 tablespoons for garnish
Fresh parsley, chopped for garnish, optional
Heat oil in a large pan and cook onion until it starts to soften, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another minute or until fragrant. Add sausage, and break into small pieces with a wooden spoon as it cooks.
When the sausage is no longer pink, drain excess fat. Add tomatoes, sauce, paste, spices and pesto and simmer for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
When sauce is ready to serve, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and place drained pasta in a large bowl.
Add cream to the sauce and simmer for 5 minutes. Turn heat to low and stir in the Parmesan cheese.
To serve; I mixed individual servings of pasta and sauce together so that I could mix the pasta and sauce together really well. Then I placed the serving in a shallow pasta bowl and topped with 1/2 tablespoon of Parmesan cheese and garnished with parsley.