Friday, December 28, 2012

Seriously Good Rigatoni

Not to brag, but I make seriously good rigatoni. I don't know if Tom Colicchio or Joe Bastianich would give it a thumb's up, but I love it and so does my family and they're the only judges I care about. I've had this recipe for so long I can't remember where I got it. After my cooking marathon on Thanksgiving, I decided to make Christmas Eve dinner easy on myself and planned an Italian menu. I made the rigatoni sauce about a week in advance and froze it, along with several loves of dill bread, a family favorite. Then I cooked the pasta, added the sauce and cheese just before baking and it was perfect. I served it with a tossed salad and spumoni ice cream with Christmas cookies for dessert. It was a feast that provided yummy leftovers! You can't ask for more than that.

Rigatoni Romano
Serves 8
The Ingredients.
2# bulk Italian sausage(I used HOT Italian sausage from Cub)
1 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, crushed
2-12 oz. cans tomato paste (I used the kind with basil & garlic added)
4 cups water
1-1/2 tsp. salt
Dash pepper
1-1/2 Tbsp. basil
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1-10 oz. pkg. sliced mozzarella cheese
1# rigatoni
The Directions.
Break up and brown sausage in frying pan over medium heat. Drain well. Stir in onion, garlic, tomato paste, water and seasoning. I pre-mix tomato paste with water in separate bowl to insure that it gets smooth, then add to pan.  Simmer uncovered 30+ minutes, stirring occasionally. Cook rigatoni and place in 9x13 glass or Corning baking dish. Cover with meat sauce and layer top with sliced Mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Serve with grated Romano or Parmesan cheese.

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