Sausage with Rigatoni in Spicy Cream Sauce is pure comfort food and makes an easy and delicious weeknight meal. The flavor starts with onion and garlic which are sauteed with the sausage for maximum flavor.
A can of diced tomatoes and a can of tomato sauce are then added. I think it’s nice to have a few chunks of tomato in an otherwise creamy sauce. A tablespoon of tomato paste really ups the tomato flavor.
This recipe has the perfect balance between tomatoes and cream. A half a cup of cream makes it plenty rich and creamy, but doesn’t make it heavy.
A little salt, pepper, dried basil (you could use fresh), and red pepper flakes are all that’s needed for the sauce as far as seasoning.
Parmesan cheese is added last minute to the sauce for more flavor, plus it helps thicken the sauce. Use either hot or mild sausage. I usually go with hot.
Whenever I make this meal, I think- I don’t cook rigatoni nearly enough! I love the chewiness and substance it has.
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Italian Sausage Rigatoni with Spicy Cream Sauce
- 12 ounces Rigatoni pasta
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 pound Italian sausage Remove from casings if in casings, use either sweet or spicy
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Heat olive oil in a large pan and cook onion until it starts to soften. Add sausage, and break it into pieces with a wooden spoon as it cooks.
- When sausage is no longer pink, add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Drain off any excess fat.
- Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, basil, salt, red pepper flakes, and black pepper and simmer until thickened, about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and place drained pasta in a large bowl.
- Add cream and simmer another 5 minutes, Turn heat to low and stir in Parmesan cheese.
- Pour sauce over pasta and toss to coat.