Spicy Sausage Sauce
2 years ago

Rigatoni & Spicy Sausage Sauce

In the middle of summer, long-winded cooking projects — especially the ones that involve turning on the oven — are pretty much off the table. So we’re definitely not making spaghetti and meatballs. But that doesn’t mean we stop craving it, or zesty Italian food in general. This recipe answers all those cheesy, saucy cravings, but it’s a quick, easy, no-oven affair.

Basically, we sauté chunks of spicy Italian sausage with olive oil, garlic and onion, and then add tomatoes to it — all that rich, flavorful stuff turns the tomatoes into a tangy, slightly acidic sauce. Right before serving, we stir a handful of chopped arugula, basil, oregano through the sauce and noodles. The flavor is so mildly spicy, fresh and herby, it’s definitely a summer comfort food.

Our whole family loves this pasta. Of course they do: it’s fantastic with a great big pile of shaved Parmesan.

Tip: If you’re looking at a busy week, prep this sauce on Sunday, so it’s all ready to go for a mid-week family meal. The sauce only gets better with time. In fact, the leftovers make terrific fodder for work lunches.

6 servings
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 pounds fresh hot Italian sausages, casings removed
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes with added puree
8 ounces rigatoni
2 cups (packed) fresh arugula, stemmed
1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  1. In a large, heavy pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, about 4 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic, stirring for 1 minute.
  3. Add the sausage and cook until browned, breaking up the meat with back of spoon, about 5 minutes.
  4. Drain the drippings from pot. Add the wine, diced tomatoes with juice, and crushed tomatoes, and then increase the heat and bring the ingredients to boil.
  5. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes to blend the flavors, stirring occasionally.
  6. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain.
  7. Stir the pasta, arugula, basil, and oregano into the tomato sauce. Simmer until arugula wilts, stirring often, about 2 minutes.
  8. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to large bowl. Sprinkle with Parmesan.

Recipe source: Bon Appetít

Rigatoni & Spicy Sausage Sauce