Friday, January 29, 2010

Italian Sausage Rigatoni with a Creamy White Sauce

While I was watching the Rachel Ray show the other day she made this little gem. I changed a few things, but all in all it's an AWESOME pasta dish! I love the combination of red sauce with white sauce. If you don't like white cheddar, you can substitute with any white cheese you like...actually she used sharp provolone. So be creative to your own taste. This one is definitely a hit!

1/3 pound bacon
1 pound Italian Style sausage
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 t crushed red pepper
1/2 t paprika
1/2 t seasoned salt
1 bell pepper, diced
1/2-1 onion (depending on how much you like)
1 (6oz) small can tomato paste
1/4 cup tomato sauce
2 cups chicken broth
1 (28oz) can Italian Style diced tomatoes

White Sauce:
4 T butter
3 T flour
3 cups milk
2 cups white cheddar cheese (I used Tillamok Vintage White cheddar cheese)
Salt and Pepper to taste
dash of nutmeg

Cut bacon into little bites and brown in pan. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.

To the same skillet, add 1 T olive oil and heat until oil smokes. Add pork and brown a couple of minutes over high heat. Reduce heat a bit and add in red pepper, paprika and seasoned salt. Cook 3-4 minutes more then remove and add to the plate with reserved bacon.

Add another T olive oil to the same skillet and heat. Add in peppers, onions and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and cook 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until tender. Stir in tomato paste, cook 1 minute then stir in chicken broth. Add tomatoes and then stir all the reserved meat back into sauce. Simmer to thicken over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.

While the sauce simmers, bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil for the pasta and make white sauce: In a sauce pot over medium heat, melt butter. Whisk in flour, cook a minute or 2 then add milk and cook until it's thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.Stir in shredded cheese.

Place rack in center of oven and preheat broiler.

Cook rigatoni to al dente in salted water. Drain and toss with thickened ragu and place in a casserole dish.

Pour white sauce over top of casserole in an even layer. Place casserole in oven on center rack and brown. DELICIOUS!

*Adapted from Rachel Ray

1 comment: