I is for Italian Sausage & Tomato Rigatoni

I knew I couldn’t get away with doing “Italian Sausage” and not finding or creating at least one ITALIAN recipe…

So here it is…

Italian Sausage & Tomato Rigatoni

Pasta 1_2

After a fairly involved soft taco recipe, I knew it was time to switch to something simple…

Thus, this sumptuous pasta is much quicker to throw together!

To get started, chop up a small onion and a garlic clove…

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Heat 1 TBSP of olive oil in a large saute pan and add in a pound of Italian sausage removed from the casings (mild, spicy, sweet or a mix is fine… whatever you have on hand!)

Brown the sausage… I like to use a potato masher to break it up, but you can use the back of a wooden spoon too!

Remove the crumbled sausage with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined bowl or plate.

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Get a large pot of water boiling, add a good amount of salt when it comes to a boil and then add in a pound of Rigatoni (or whatever short pasta you have on hand!)

Give it a stir after a minute or so to keep the pasta from sticking and cook it to al dente while you work on the sauce…

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Turn down the heat to medium-low and add 1 TBSP butter to the saute pan where you cooked the sausage…


Add in the onion, season with salt and pepper, and saute it for about 3 minutes.

Add in the garlic and cook another minute or so… it smells good enough to eat already!


Drain two 14.5-oz cans low-sodium diced tomatoes and add them right to the onions in the pan. Give them a stir for a minute or so…


Crank up the heat a bit (medium-high) and pour in some chicken stock to deglaze the pan… stirring with a wooden spoon to scrape up those browned bits of sausage, onion and garlic at the bottom of the pan… YUM!


Let the mixture simmer and reduce for about 5 min…


Pour the whole mixture into the food processor and pulse it 5-10 times to break it up. Then let it go for 10-15 seconds on HIGH speed to really mix it together. Add 1/2 cup to 3/4 HEATED chicken stock, adding it slowly and mixing in-between, until you get the consistency you want for your sauce (chunky vs. smooth).


If you want your mixture REALLY smooth you can use a blender instead of a food processor. Just be careful since you are dealing with a hot liquid… you don’t want the blender to explode so proceed with caution!

Pour the tomato sauce back into your saute pan… there’s a few finishing touches needed to really send this pasta over the top!


Get it back on the stovetop over low heat….

Then, to make the sauce a little decadent…. add in some heavy cream.


Then add in a little more if you think it needs it…


The finishing touches… add shredded parmesan and stir it in until the cheese is melted.

Give the sauce a taste and add some salt and pepper is you think it needs it… then toss in some chopped fresh parsley and the browned sausage from earlier.

Give it a stir to combine everything and to let the sausage heat back up a bit…

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Finally, drain your pasta and dump it right into the sauce!

But do it a bit more carefully than I did…


Don’t worry, if pasta topples all over your stovetop… it’s completely normal.

Clearly my pan was not big enough for the sauce and the pasta… so I poured it all into the large pot I’d boiled the pasta in and there was plenty of room to toss it well so the sauce coated the pasta well.

You want it to really get inside all the tubes and crevices of the pasta!


And if that doesn’t look delicious enough…

Serve up the pasta into bowls… then shave or grate some parmesan over the top of each pasta bowl… sprinkle on a little chopped fresh parsley…

Pasta 1_2

Wow… it doesn’t get much better than this…

I love pasta. Really… I could never give it up.

What’s the cost? Just $2.46 per serving and it serves 6!

And finally… here is your Recipe and Shopping List so you can make this when the desire strikes! 

Happy Economical Eating! 



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