Calling all pasta lovers! This hearty Rigatoni with Sausage, Tomatoes, and Zucchini is for you! It’s so flavorful and easy enough to make on a weeknight!
Rigatoni with Sausage
Like so many people, I absolutely love eating out! But with the wedding quickly approaching (3 months!), we’ve decided to challenge ourselves to only dining out once or twice a month. It’s a fun challenge, and an easy way to save some cash! So get ready to see A LOT more savory recipe around here! Especially pasta recipes, which are kind of our weakness!
Speaking of pasta, allow me to introduce you to today’s brand new recipe: rigatoni with sausage, tomatoes, and zucchini! It’s total comfort food and the perfect pasta dish for those nights you want something restaurant quality without leaving the house! I’ve been enjoying the leftovers for lunch this week and I’m going to be so bummed when I finally run out! The base is a fresh tomato sauce that’s loaded with sausage and zucchini. But it’s not a marinara sauce! Instead it’s made from 2 pints of juicy grape tomatoes, white wine (or chicken broth) and a little tomato paste. It’s a little lighter than the typical red sauce – and WAY lighter than my hearty baked rigatoni with beef! – making it perfect for Summer! Also perfect for dipping a piece of garlic bread or a few garlic knots. NOM.
Ingredients for Rigatoni with Sausage:
- Rigatoni: you may use farfalle or penne instead.
- Olive Oil: I prefer extra virgin olive oil, but use what you have!
- Crushed Red Pepper Flakes: omit – or reduce – if you’re using spicy sausage.
- Mild Italian Sausage or Spicy Italian Sausage: or use a combination!
- Yellow Onion: but white onion will work in a pinch!
- Garlic: plenty of garlic adds tons of flavor!
- Tomato Paste: thickens the sauce up and adds an extra punch of tomato flavor!
- Grape Tomatoes: But cherry tomatoes will work fine, too!
- White Wine or Chicken Broth: I personally LOVE cooking with wine. But broth works just as well! In a serious pinch, you could even use excess pasta water!
- Zucchini: use any color you’d like! I say grab what’s freshest.
- Fresh Basil: please please please use fresh! dried basil will not give this pasta dish the same flavor.
- Salt and Pepper: start with a small amount and adjust as needed.
- Parmesan Cheese: optional! But a sprinkle never hurts 😉
How to Cook Rigatoni with Sausage and Tomatoes
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium heat. Add the rigatoni into the boiling water and cook for 10 minutes, or until al dente. Drain the pasta, quickly rinse it under cool water, then set aside.
- In the meantime, heat the olive oil and pepper flakes in a large, deep pot over medium high heat. Add the onion and saute until very soft. Then add the sausage and use a wooden spoon to break it into small pieces. Cook, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink.
- Turn the heat down to medium. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
- Toss in the tomatoes, then add the tomato paste and vegetable broth. Cook until the tomatoes start to burst and give off their juices, about 10 minutes. Toss in the zucchini and cook for 3 minutes. Finally toss in the fresh basil, salt, and pepper. Taste and add more seasoning if needed.
- Add in the rigatoni and stir well to combine. Transfer to a serving bowl or platter and serve immediately.
MORE PASTA RECIPES:
- Roasted Garlic and Lemon Rigatoni with Brown Butter and Gruyere
- 20-Minute Spicy Sriracha Shrimp and Zucchini Lo Mein
- Penne Arrabbiata
AND IF YOU TRY THIS RECIPE FOR RIGATONI WITH SAUSAGE, TOMATOES, AND ZUCCHINI, LET ME KNOW! LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW AND DON’T FORGET TO SNAP A PIC AND TAG IT #BAKERBYNATURE ON INSTAGRAM! SEEING YOUR KITCHEN CREATIONS MAKES OUR DAY.
Rigatoni with Sausage, Tomatoes, and Zucchini
- 3/4 lb rigatoni
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 lb Italian sausage (mild, sweet, or spicy will work)
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 Tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 cups grape tomatoes
- 1 cup white wine or chicken broth
- 2 small zucchini, diced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Handful fresh basil, chopped
- freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Add oil to a large, wide pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add in the onion and crushed red pepper and cook until the onion is very soft, about 10 minutes. Add in the sausage and, using a wooden spoon, break it into small pieces. Cook until sausage is brown and no pink color remains.
- Add in the garlic and cook for 1 minute, or until fragrant. Stir in the tomato paste.
- Add in the tomatoes and wine (or stock) and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes begin to burst and give off their juices, about 10 minutes. Use a wooden spoon to gently press the tomatoes if they're not bursting on their own. Stir in the zucchini and cook for 5 minutes.
- In the meantime, add the rigatoni into the boiling water and cook for 9 to 10 minutes, or until al dente.
- Drain the pasta, reserving a 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Toss the pasta immediately into the pot with the sauce and stir well to combine. Add in some of the reserved cooking water, if needed. Finally, stir in the basil.
- Remove from heat and divide among serving bowls. Top with cheese and serve at once!