Sausage and Broccoli Rigatoni with Creamy Arrabbiata Sauce
This is spicy comfort food at its finest. The roasted broccoli and sausage bring a ton of flavor to the party. And then you add the creamy arrabbiata sauce… it’s addictive. It’s spicy and luscious. I don’t use the word “luscious” often but it’s warranted here. It’s creamy and coats the back of a spoon but hits you with a spicy punch just as you were getting comfortable. Pair this with a lighter pinot noir or a dry riesling and you’re set for the evening.
For the arrabbiata sauce:
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 shallot, minced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 28-oz can San Marzano tomatoes
- 1/2 white onion, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup dry red wine
- 1 tbsp red pepper flakes (or more/less depending on heat preference)
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 2 tsp fine sea salt
- 1/2 cup cream (or half & half)
For the pasta:
- 1 lb rigatoni pasta (my favorite is mezza rigatoni, the smaller version of rigatoni)
- 1 lb Italian sausage
- 1 large head broccoli, cut into small florets
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
- Fine sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- Olive oil
- Red pepper flakes for serving
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Toss the broccoli florets in olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread them out evenly on a baking sheet and roast until the edges are crispy, approx 20 minutes. Set aside.
- Next, make the arrabbiata sauce (or you can multitask and get the sauce started while the broccoli is roasting). In a large saucepan, add the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallot, stirring occasionally, until translucent, approx 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and tomato paste and cook for an additional minute.
- Add the tomatoes, white onion, red wine, red pepper flakes, oregano, parsley, and salt. Stir to incorporate. Bring to a simmer and then reduce to low heat, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.
- Use an immersion blender or transfer the sauce to a blender and blend on low speed until no large chunks remain, but leaving the sauce with some consistency.
- Return the sauce to the pot over low heat and whisk in the cream. Add salt to taste as needed. Keep the sauce over low heat in the pot – you’ll use this pot to bring everything together at the end.
- In a large saute pan, add 1 tbsp of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking up with the back of a wooden spoon, until the sausage is browned and cooked through, approx 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the sausage from the saute pan and add the sausage to the pot of arrabbiata sauce.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil the pasta according to package directions for al dente. Drain and reserve 1/2 cup pasta water.
- Add the pasta and broccoli into the pot of tomato sauce over low heat, stirring to combine. Stir in the parmesan cheese and the pasta water to loosen the sauce a bit. Serve immediately with extra parmesan and red pepper flakes on the side.
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