Entries tagged with “rigatoni”.

I always like to get a cookbook for Christmas, and this year I was happy to receive the latest from the Barefoot ContessaCooking for Jeffrey. This is the first recipe I’ve tried, and it’s a winner! Onion and fennel are sautéed with sausage and spices, simmered in a tomato-cream sauce, tossed with cooked pasta and baked. You can also make it ahead.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Look for sausages, Parmesan, tomato paste and spices with no colour or preservatives added. I used a white wine from Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Frogpond Farm organic winery that contains only naturally occurring sulfites.

Saute fennel, onion and sausage

Toss cooked pasta with sauce and press into baking dish, topping with Parmesan

I refrigerated the dish for several hours and then baked it until it was heated through and brown on top


3 tbsp (45 ml) olive oil

3 cups (750 ml) chopped fennel (1 large bulb)

1½ cups (375 ml) chopped yellow onion

1¼ lb (565 g) sweet or hot Italian sausage, casings removed

2 tsp (10 ml) minced garlic

½ tsp (2.5 ml) whole fennel seeds, crushed with a mortar and pestle

½ tsp (2.5 ml) crushed red pepper flakes

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1 cup (250 ml) dry white wine

1 cup (250 ml) heavy cream (whipping cream)

2/3 cup (150 ml) half-and-half

2 tbsp (30 ml) tomato paste

1 lb (454 g) dry rigatoni

½ cup (125 ml) chopped parsley leaves

1 cup (250 ml) freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided


Heat the olive oil in a large heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the fennel and onion and sauté for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender. Add the sausage and cook for 7 to 8 minutes, crumbling it with a fork, until nicely browned. Add the garlic, crushed fennel seeds, red pepper flakes, 2 tsp (10 ml) salt and 1 tsp (5 ml) black pepper and cook for 1 minute. Pour in the wine, bring to a boil, and add the heavy cream, half-and-half and tomato paste. Bring back to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, until the sauce has thickened.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil, add 2 tbsp (30 ml) salt and cook the rigatoni according to the directions on the package. Drain and add to the sauce, stirring to coat the pasta. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes to allow the pasta to absorb the sauce. Off the heat, stir in the parsley and ½ cup (125 ml) of the Parmesan. Press into a large shallow baking dish, sprinkle with remaining Parmesan and serve. To make ahead, refrigerate for up to a day and then bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees F (190 C).

From Cooking for Jeffrey by Ina Garten

Spring may be just around the corner, but while there is still a chill in the air try this delicious baked pasta from Lucy Waverman. This is comfort food at its best – Italian sausages, a creamy sauce and five kinds of cheese. Enjoy it with a salad and a glass of wine.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Look for sausages without fillers or preservatives and for wine with a sulfite count lower than 10 parts per million. Cheese may contain colour, so read the label carefully. Use butter that contains only cream.

After browning sausage, mix ingredients in a bowl

Place pasta in glass baking dish and top with cheese

Bake until bubbling and brown on top


12 oz (375 g) rigatoni

2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil

3 mild Italian sausages, meat removed from casings (14 oz or 400 g)

½ tsp (5 ml) chili flakes

½ cup (125 ml) white wine

1 cup (250 ml) whipping cream

1 cup (250 ml) milk

8 oz (250 g) ricotta

1 4-oz (125 g) ball buffalo mozzarella, sliced

8 oz (250 g) grated fontina

4 oz (125 g) grated ricotta salata (or feta)

1 cup (250 ml) green peas, defrosted if frozen

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 tbsp (15 ml) butter

½ (125 ml) cup grated Parmesan


Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add rigatoni and cook for 6 to 8 minutes or until pasta is slightly undercooked (it will continue to cook as it bakes). Drain and reserve, reserving 1 cup (250 ml) cooking water separately.

Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Crumble in sausage meat and cook, breaking up with a fork, until it loses its pinkness, 4 to 5 minutes. Add chili flakes and cook for 1 more minute. Add wine and bring to boil. Boil until wine is reduced by half, about 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in reserved cooking water. Return to a boil then remove from heat.

Transfer contents of skillet to a bowl and allow to cool. Stir in cream, milk, ricotta, buffalo mozzarella, fontina, ricotta salata and green peas. Stir in pasta. Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper as needed.

Preheat the oven to 375 F (190 C). Butter a 9 x 13-inch (23 x 33 cm) baking dish. Pour pasta mixture into dish and dot with butter. Cover with foil. Bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes longer or until mixture is bubbling and cheese is golden on top. Serves 6-8.

From Lucy Waverman

This delicious baked pasta from the April 2014 issue of Food and Wine features a sauce made of roasted tomatoes, garlic, thyme and basil. The roasted tomatoes are added to sautéed onion, crispy pancetta and olives. Meanwhile, roast some broccoli. Cook the rigatoni and stir into the sauce, along with the broccoli, ricotta, Parmigiano-Reggiano and more fresh basil. This would be a great dish for Sunday brunch or a weeknight supper.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use butter with only a single ingredient: cream. I used nitrite-free bacon instead of pancetta and President’s Choice garlic-stuffed olives, which are all-natural. Check the labels on the ricotta and Parmigiano-Reggiano to make sure they don’t contain colour or artificial ingredients.

Place fresh herbs on tomatoes prior to roasting

Roast the broccoli

The roasted tomatoes form the basis of the sauce

Combine sauce, broccoli and ricotta

Place in baking dish and sprinkle with Parmigiano

Baked rigatoni with broccoli, green olives and pancetta


2 tablespoons (30 ml) unsalted butter, plus more for greasing

1 ½ pounds (680 g) plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise

3 garlic cloves, crushed

2 thyme sprigs

½ cup (125 ml) torn basil leaves, plus 1 basil sprig

3 tablespoons (45 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 ½ pounds (680 g) broccoli, cut into small florets and stems reserved for another use

One 4-ounce (113 g) slice of pancetta, finely diced

1 large onion, very finely chopped

1 cup (250 ml) pitted green olives, such as Castelvetrano, halved

1 pound (454 g) rigatoni

2 cups (500 ml) fresh ricotta cheese

¾ cup (175 ml) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


Preheat the oven to 425° F (232° C) and butter a 9-by-13-inch (23-by-33 cm) ceramic or glass baking dish. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the tomatoes, garlic, thyme and basil sprigs with 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for about 20 minutes, until softened and browned in spots; let cool. Discard the thyme and basil sprigs and coarsely chop the tomatoes and garlic, reserving any juices.

Meanwhile, on another rimmed baking sheet, toss the broccoli florets with 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 minutes, or until crisp-tender. Leave the oven on.

Meanwhile, in a large, deep skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of olive oil. Add the pancetta and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until browned and nearly crisp, about 5 minutes. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the olives, tomatoes and garlic and the 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of butter; keep warm.

In a pot of salted boiling water, cook the rigatoni until al dente. Drain, reserving 1¼ (300 ml) cups of the cooking water. Stir the pasta into the skillet along with the reserved cooking water, broccoli, ricotta, torn basil and ½ (125 ml) cup of the Parmigiano. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the pasta to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup (60 ml) of Parmigiano on top and bake for 15 minutes, until bubbling and browned on top. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Serves 6.

From the April 2014 issue of Food and Wine