Pasta is really one of them foods that can be created thousands of ways. It is cheap, compatible with hundreds of ingredients, and is really a staple in my home. My three kids love pasta many different ways, and look forward to when I make new cheesy dishes. Cheese is a must for our pasta, so they really enjoyed the Rigatoni Salsiccia e Rapini dish I was inspired to create courtesy of Victor Rallo, Jr. (restaurateur and host of PBS’s “Eat Drink Italy) and the folks at Johnsonville® Sausage.
Thanks to Johnsonville® Sausage, my mission was to create a fresh meal using ingredients they sent. The star ingredient was their ground Mild Italian Sausage which I had never personally used before. As you all know, we love Johnsonville® Sausage in our home because it is a quality product made with the finest cuts of meats and spices that is VERY apparent in each bite. My wife has used sausage in her pasta dishes in the past, but never tried the ground sausage which is actually much easier to work with
Similar to pan-frying ground hamburger, the Johnsonville® Mild Italian Sausage is easy to cook, but unlike hamburger it contains a ton of delicious spices that make a pasta meal really authentic tasting. Since I am admittedly not an Italian cook, I could have never achieved the flavors the Rigatoni Salsiccia e Rapini called for without the Johnsonville® Mild Italian Sausage. Italian cuisine is not my specialty, nor my wife’s so this convenient ground sausage came to the rescue!
Want to create Victor Rallo Jr.’s Rigatoni Salsiccia e Rapini recipe? Here is what you will need:
- 12 ounce package of Johnsonville® Mild Italian Sausage
- 1 lb box of rigatoni pasta
- 1 head of broccoli rabe
- 1 large ripe tomato diced
- 6 cloves of minced garlic
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- 1 tsp chili flakes
- 3/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
- salt, pepper to taste
Boil pasta until al dente-set aside
In a pan, steam the broccoli rabe florets for about 3-5 minutes-set aside
In a skillet, pan-cook the ground sausage
Once the sausage is complete, put it on a paper-towel lined plate
In the same sausage skillet, heat the olive oil, and then add in the garlic, and chili flakes cook until slightly golden brown and then add the tomato, sausage, and broccoli rabe. Saute for 2-3 minutes.
Drain the pasta, and then place it back into the pan. Add the cheese, and then the skillet contains and toss. Serve warm.
This meal was loaded with bold flavors and so tasty. I have never made a truly authentic Italian pasta dish, so it was awesome to taste how each of these flavors melded together into one somewhat spicy and zesty dish. I would certainly make this again!
I love that Johnsonville® Mild Italian Sausage helped even the least culinary inclined person (myself) to make a dish that my wife and kids loved. Even if you are not a chef, this product has all the flavors your next meal deserves!
What are some of your favorite Italian dishes you think Johnsonville® Mild Italian Sausage could spruce up?