Thursday, November 29, 2012

Carmela Soprano's Rigatoni with Sweet Sausage and Tomato Sauce

It's been a long time since I posted one of Carmela's recipes.
So, without further delay...

Back to Carmela's Feeding My Family in Artie's The Sopranos Family Cookbook.

Ah... Rigatoni with Sweet Sausage and Tomato Sauce
It's a nice, basic family recipe.
And it uses up some of those sausages you bought on sale and froze.

Italians regard pasta the way they regard wine.
A light wine with a delicate fish.
A robust one with a more substantial meal.
Rigatoni is a large elbow macaroni, cut in 3 inch lengths.
That's a fair sized chunk of starch.
It can hold its own with the meat sauce.

But, if you don't have rigatoni, or prefer spaghetti, no problem.
Some folks do prefer a dry white wine with roast beef.
And there's nothing wrong with that, either.

Carmela seems to have ready access to fresh basil leaves.
Maybe she has a little greenhouse.
Or a pot or two on her window sill.
If you don't have either, a tablespoon of dried basil should do the trick.
Or more or less.
You know your family better than Carmela does, right?

And next time they're on sale, buy those Italian sausages.
They do freeze well.

Carmela chops the meat fine.
If you find the meat too chunky, chop it.
But, don't forget the meat will cook down a bit when it's simmered a while.
So, I wouldn't bother.

She also passed the tomatoes through a food mill.
If you'd rather chop or whir in a blender, I won't tell.
Suit yourself on Romano or Parmesan, too.
It is your dinner, after all.

                        Rigatoni with Sweet Sausage and Tomato Sauce

Serves 6

1 pound Italian-style pork sausages
Remove the meat from the casings.

Into a large pot pour
2 Tablespoons olive oil
Heat over medium heat.

the pork from the sausages
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Cook, stirring frequently, until the sausage is lightly browned.

1/2 Cup dry white wine
Simmer until most of the wine evaporates (about 10 minutes).

Stir in
1 28 to 35 ounce can Italian peeled tomatoes
Salt and pepper
Reduce the heat to low and cook until the sauce thickens (about 75 minutes).
Stir in 
3 or 4 fresh basil leaves, torn into bits


In a large pot place
4 quarts water
salt to taste
Bring to a boil.
1 pound rigatoni
Cook, stirring frequently, until the pasta is al dente.
Drain the pasta.
In a large heated serving bowl, combine the rigatoni with the sauce.

Serve with
1/2 Cup grated Romano cheese 

Would I make Rigatoni with Sweet Sausage and Tomato Sauce again?
It's a nice hearty meal, perfect for winter.
And I have lots of sausages in my freezer.

One recipe down.  Seventy-three more to go.

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