Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sun-Dried Tomato Rigatoni with Sausage Meatballs

We had this dish for supper last night.

I seriously would consider this one a guaranteed winner.

This recipe (which I have modified a bit, but originally came from the Kraft Magazine) has become one of my very favorites--it is unbelievably simple (and quick) to make, and everyone in my household gulps it down as if they haven't eaten in days, which thrills me to death.

In the interest of you 'menu-planning' mommas out there--and for Julie, who wants so badly to try, I just know it--I thought I would share!

Sun-Dried Tomato Rigatoni with Sausage Meatballs

  • 1 pkg. sweet turkey sausage (link-style; these actually look like bratwurst and come five in a package. They'll be in the turkey section of the meat department)
  • 1 6-oz. can tomato paste
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup Kraft Sun-Dried Tomato salad dressing
  • 1 box Rigatoni
  • salt for pasta water
  • onion powder and garlic powder, to taste
  • pasta water, reserved

Begin by bringing a pot of water to a boil.

Heat another large skillet over medium heat.

Take two of the links out of their casing and make them into tiny meatballs. {I like to make mine very small, like about the diameter of a dime or less. They cook quicker; I find that the boys do better chewing them; and there are more to go around in every bite of pasta! You might want to use more meat, though, depending on your family's liking.}

Brown your sausage meatballs on medium heat in your large skillet. You will be adding the rigatoni into this pan later, so make sure you have enough room for all of it in your pan.

When sausage is browned, add the can of tomato paste and your dressing, and combine it all. I like my sauce to be a bit on the thinner side, so I use the full 1/2 cup. Don't go too crazy thinning out your sauce with the dressing, though--that is what the reserved pasta water is for later on!

Season with garlic powder and onion powder to taste. I rarely measure anything, but I think I use about 1/2 teaspoon each.

Turn heat to low, and cover your meat/sauce mixture. Use foil if your large pan doesn't have a lid; it works just as well!

Add a good amount of salt to flavor your now boiling pasta water, then give it a stir. Next, add your entire box of rigatoni.

{Go ahead. Make the whole box. I can almost guarantee that this will be so well liked that the leftovers--if there are any--will be quickly eaten up!}

Cook the rigatoni to al dente, about 10 minutes. Do NOT overcook the pasta!

Turn off boiling water, but do not drain pasta. Using a slotted spoon, add your rigatoni to your sauce/meat mixture. Don't sweat it if some of the water is getting in the sauce, 'cause you need some of it in there anyway!

Once all the pasta is added to the sauce, check your consistency. There isn't going to be a lot of sauce leftover--this isn't a recipe like that. Basically, you should have just enough sauce to completely cover all the rigatoni. If the mixture seems too pasty or thick, simply add more pasta water until it gets to be the consistency you prefer.

Serve with garlic bread and a salad....yummy!!!

Oh, yeah. If you do try it, be sure to let me know how you/your family liked it!


Julie said...

Oh Dev! That sounds DE-LISH!! I am definitely going to have to try that one out. Perhaps tomorrow night...

Anonymous said...

I make something similar for my fam.....sausage, rigatoni, tomato and I add swiss chard (red or white)...devain it first. Thanks for your recipe. I'm going to try turkey sausage.

Aunt Pat said...

The Kraft magazine is wonderful! The recipe for Chicken Bruschetta has become a staple at our home. The stacked salad (too hard to eat stacked, so just cut up everything into smaller pieces and used shredded mozzerella) is also a fav! After almost 30 years of cooking, I have found that FREE magazine a wonderful blessing!