Use your favorite breakfast or Italian sausage. For a finer texture, break up the sausage as it cooks using a potato masher.
1 (16-oz.) package rigatoni pasta
1 (1-lb.) package ground pork sausage with sage
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium zucchini, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
3 garlic cloves, pressed
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1 (6-oz.) can tomato paste
1 cup dry red wine
1 (28-oz.) can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
How to Make It
Cook pasta according to package directions; drain, reserving 1/2 cup hot pasta water.
Meanwhile, cook sausage in a large, 2-inch-deep skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, 5 minutes or until sausage crumbles and is no longer pink. Add onion, zucchini, and carrots; cook, stirring often, 8 to 10 minutes or until tender. Add garlic and red pepper, and cook, stirring often, 1 to 2 minutes or until garlic is tender. Add tomato paste, and cook, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes. Add wine and reserved pasta water; cook 2 minutes, stirring to loosen bits from bottom of skillet.
Add tomatoes, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spoon sausage mixture over pasta; sprinkle with cheese.
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Made this in February as soon as I got the magazine and planning to make again this week. I added some extra crushed red pepper because I prefer a spicier sauce, and I cooked it the day before serving so the flavors had time to meld. I too appreciated the 'hidden' vegetables, and when I served it to my friend he had no idea it had zucchini in it. I think the sauce might work well in a lasagna too.
This was a great dish, and already a family favorite! It was so flavorful, and easy to make. I loved that it "hides" so many fresh vegetables for the kiddos. Thanks SL! Also, this definitely yields a lot. For a family of 4, I think half the recipe would be more than enough.
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