This dinner is so good! I mean...seriously, you'll have seconds (maybe even thirds!) good. AND it was super easy to put together on a week night.
1 pound ground sausage
1 pound rigatoni pasta
1 onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flake (optional)
1 can (28 oz) San Marzano tomatoes
1 bay leaf (fresh or dried)
1 cup chicken stock
2-3 tablespoons heavy cream (or half and half or heavy whipping cream...whatever you got!)
handful Parmesan cheese
1/3 pound provolone cheese (shredded, sliced...it doesn't matter)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO), salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a large oven-safe skillet (or if you don't have one, you can transfer later), heat a few tablespoons of EVOO over medium-high heat. Brown sausage until crumbly and cooked through. Add in onions and garlic and saute 5-6 minutes. Add in crushed red pepper flake, can tomatoes, bay leaf and stock. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer about 10 minutes (or longer if you have time).
While sauce is simmering, bring a large pot of water up to a boil. Drop pasta and cook to al dente (about 7-8 minutes). Drain and add in to tomato mixture. Stir in heavy cream and Parmesan. At this point, if your skillet isn't oven-safe, transfer pasta to a glass baking dish. Top skillet (or baking dish) with provolone cheese. Put casserole in the oven to brown on top and get bubbly (about 15-20 minutes).
Divine. This recipe is really divine.
Here's the deal with the crushed red pepper flake...I highly recommend it. My kids ate this pasta up, so I don't think it's too spicy for kiddos. I really, really think the tiny bit of heat adds loads of flavor to the tomatoes. However, it's completely optional and up to you. As for the provolone cheese...that's not optional. The provolone totally makes this dish rock :).
Enjoy your dinner!