AMAZING rigatoni with sausage, kale, tomato cream sauce, Parmesan, and red pepper flakes! Perfect for date night!
- 1 lb rigatoni + 2 cups reserved pasta water
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups chopped fennel or celery
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 1 lb Italian sausage
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed or chopped*
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 cup dry white wine or chicken broth
- 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
- 2 cups chopped kale
- 1 teaspoon salt
- freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- red pepper flakes
- Pasta: Cook rigatoni according to package directions in well-salted water. Reserve 2 cups of the starchy water when you drain.
- Sausage: Heat olive oil in a large, deep pot over medium high heat. Add the fennel and onion. Saute until very soft – about 10 minutes. Add the sausage. Cook, breaking into small pieces, until browned all the way through.
- Sauce: Turn the heat down. Add the garlic, fennel seeds, and tomato paste. Sauté until fragrant – about 3 minutes. Add the wine; let it sizzle out. Add the cream; let it come to a low simmer. Stir in the kale. Season with salt.
- Fall In Love: Toss sauce with the cooked pasta. Add reserved pasta water as needed to thin the sauce. Stir in freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Finish with red pepper flakes and more Parm. Serve with a glass of wine because THIS IS VERY ROMANTIC AND FANCY!
Fennel seeds: I would recommend using 2 teaspoons of fennel seeds if you are using celery instead of fennel. It will give you more fennel-y flavor.
Pasta: I recommend cooking to al dente so there’s still a slight firmness. That way the noodles will hold up nicely when you toss them with the sauce.
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Sauté
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: rigatoni with sausage, date night pasta, pasta recipe