Newsletter Inspiration #1: Rigatoni with Spicy Calabrese-Style Pork Ragù

Cook the pasta in the sauce for the last minute

Cook the pasta in the sauce for the last minute

My newest adventure is actually grabbing a recipe from one of the bazillion newsletters I get each day and cooking something from it for dinner that night. One night in and I’m already improvising of course. I never follow recipes! The first recipe was from the Epicurious newsletter: Rigatoni with Spicy Calabrese-Style Pork Ragù

Brown the sausage

The first thing I changed about this recipe is the simmer-for-4-hours bit. I didn’t have 4 hours. The second thing was I only had a pound of sausage and no ground pork. I did say “inspiration” right? Oh, and no carrots. I food-processed the onion, celery, garlic and chili flakes. Meanwhile I browned the sausage until it was almost cooked through. I took out the sausage and put the pureed veggies into the pan and cooked all the liquid off of those until the edges started getting toasty.

Onion, celery, chili flakes, marjoram

Then I added the sausage back in, tossed it with the puree and added 2 cans of tomatoes that I pureed in the food processor and one can diced. I like some chunks in my sauce sometimes. I put that on low and let it simmer until it was thick.

Cook out the liquid

I didn’t have any rigatoni…seriously, I didn’t go to the store for this one! I ran with what I had! I had farfalle so I cooked that until it was 1 minute from done then I put the pasta in the pan with the sauce and let it cook the last minute in the sauce.

Add sausage and tomatoes

I learned that trick from Molto Mario years ago! It’s the only way to have pasta. It integrates all the flavors and keeps the pasta from becoming a clump under the sauce.

In the end it only took about 45 minutes for the whole process. I’m sure it would have been far richer and wonderful with 4 hours of simmering and more pork. I’ll try that sometime. This was a lot like a typical go-to pasta dish I make a lot without a recipe but the trick I liked was food-processoring the veg. It integrated the flavors into the meat and tomatoes much more quickly I think.

I thought I’d do a second day of newsletter recipes tonight but all the newsletters were Superbowl themed and I was not interested in quesadillas or chili so the next adventure will have to wait until next week when “ball” season is done.