Rigatoni with Spicy Sausage and Cannellini Beans
- SERVINGS: 6
Pork and white beans are classic partners in Tuscany. Barbara Lynch adds her own twist by using spicy sausage in this dish. For a more mellow version of this pasta, try sweet Italian sausage instead.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 pound hot Italian sausage, casings removed
- 1 cup dry red wine
- One 28-ounce can peeled Italian tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped, liquid reserved
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 pound rigatoni
- One 19-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
- 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped basil, plus leaves for garnish
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- In a large, deep skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until golden, about 1 minute. Add the onion and sausage; break the meat up with a wooden spoon and cook until it just loses its pink color, about 7 minutes. Add the wine and cook over high heat until reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, their liquid and the red pepper and season with salt and pepper. Cook over moderate heat until slightly thickened, about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the rigatoni until al dente. Drain well, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water.
- Add the rigatoni to the sauce and gently stir in the beans, 1/2 cup of Parmesan, the chopped basil and the butter. Cook, stirring gently, until heated through, about 3 minutes. Add some of the reserved pasta cooking water if the pasta looks dry. Transfer to warmed bowls, garnish with basil leaves and serve. Pass additional Parmesan at the table.
The berry fruit and peppery notes in a rich Syrah play off both the spicy sausage and the acidity of the tomatoes in the sauce. Pick a good example from Tuscany.