I have to fairly warn you - when you start making your own pasta sauce, you will NEVER want to go back to sauce from a jar or a can again. I used to buy jarred pasta sauce all of the time. It seemed like the cheap and easiest way to go. Well, it may have been easy but it's not really so cheap anymore. Not to mention there is absolutely no comparison to taste. I started making all of my own sauces a couple of years ago. Some were incredibly successful and some...not so much. And after I made this dish, I told hubby that I never wanted another jar of pasta sauce in the house again. He agreed. I have to admit that I was a little nervous to eat this. I knew it would taste great but if you read my last post, you know that heartburn has been a very big issue for me and tomatoes are always the number one culprit. But it was incredible. I enjoyed every bit of it and the heartburn would have totally been worth it. Luckily, I am doing okay so far and I have a Zantac on hand just in case.
A few details about this dish...the recipe below is the one I used. I didn't want it too spicy because I didn't want it to be inedible for Punkin. It had a nice little kick to it without being really hot. If you want your sauce to be more on the spicy side, use a spicy version of the Italian sausage instead of the mild. You can also add a seeded and chopped chili to really make it pop. I served this dish with a homemade Italian herb bread which I will post the recipe for later on. Yum!
Rigatoni with Spicy Italian Sausage Sauce
Prep: 15 min. ~ Cook: 32 min. ~ Total:47 min. ~ Serves: 4
8 oz. mild Italian sausage, ground
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 lb plum tomatoes, chopped
4 Tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp sugar
2/3 cup red wine or red cooking wine
10 oz. Rigatoni pasta
2 Tbsp olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
grated Parmesan cheese, to serve
Heat the oil then add onion, garlic and paprika. Cook gently for 10 minutes until softened and golden brown, stirring frequently to avoid burning.
Add the tomatoes, tomato puree, sugar, wine and seasoning. Bring to a boil while continuing to stir then lower heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, cook sausage to an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
Stir cooked sausage into the sauce mixture. Season to taste. Cover and continue to simmer for another 12 minutes. If sauce gets too thick, add a little water.
Add pasta to a pot of boiling salted water and cook for 10-12 minutes. Drain pasta and put in a serving bowl. Pour sauce over pasta and toss to mix. Top with parsley and Parmesan.