Three ingredients form the foundation of Creole and Acadian cookery--onion, celery, and green bell pepper. Our dish starts with this trio and is enhanced by garlic, tomatoes, and the deliciously hot andouille sausage.
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 pound andouille or other spicy sausage such as hot Italian, casings removed, sausage cut into 1-inch pieces
In a large frying pan, heat the oil over moderate heat. Add the sausage and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Stir in the onion, celery, green pepper, and garlic. Cover the pan and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, salt, and black pepper. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes longer.
In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the rigatoni until just done, about 14 minutes. Drain and toss the pasta with the sauce.
Variation: Creamy Acadian Rigatoni : For a creamy version of this dish, use 1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste, 1 cup of cream, and an additional 1/2 teaspoon of salt in place of the canned tomatoes in puree. This variation, while more luxurious, is actually a little quicker.
Wine Recommendation: The fiery sausage and the acidity of the tomatoes and peppers will go very well with a refreshing slightly chilled red wine--a Chianti from Italy or a pinot noir from California.
Notes: If neither andouille nor hot Italian sausage is available, use a mild sausage and add 1/4 teaspoon of dried red-pepper flakes with the tomatoes and salt.
Quick From Scratch Pasta
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I thought this simple pasta dish was delicious! I used the hot Italian sausage option since I couldn't find andouille at the store...I think it would probably be a 5-star recipe with the andouille. It would really bring out the cajun flavors. The spiciness was just right.
This is unbelievably good, definitely our favorite dish we cook. We always make the creamy version, which is so decadent. Maybe not very "Cooking Light", but sometimes you have to cut loose! This one's worth the calories.
I ran out of bell pepper so I did without it and it turned out great anyway. I sure wish I had the green pepper because I think it would have added to the flavor. Don't add extra olive oil and parmesan cheese. I did this and it kinda botched the flavor. Only I made that mistake; hubby didn't, and he enjoyed his portions much more. He doesn't usually like pasta dishes but he told me to make this again! I definitely will! 4/5 stars.
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