Recipe adapted from Jason Vincent and Ben Lustbader, Giant, Chicago, IL. The original recipe is via Tasting Table.
- ½ pound dried rigatoni (medium to small works the best)
- ¾ pound Italian sausage, uncased
- 1 large egg
- Olive oil
- 1 cup minced onion
- 2 tablespoons thinly sliced garlic (from about 5 cloves)
- 20 cherry tomatoes, halved (approximately 2 cups)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Reserved pasta water
- 1 cup rapini, chopped fine
- 1 teaspoon chopped anchovy fillets
- Parmesan or pecorino cheese, to garnish
- Juice from 1 lemon
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Blanch the rigatoni in salted boiling water until it still has a very firm bite, approximately 8 minutes. It is better to have the rigatoni slightly undercooked so they are firmer when you get ready to do the stuffing process. Remove to a parchment-lined tray greased with cooking spray and allow to cool. (Do not coat the pasta in oil.) Reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the Italian sausage until it becomes sticky. Add the egg and continue to beat until it’s completely incorporated. Transfer the mixture into a piping bag or Ziploc with the corner cut off. Fill each of the rigatoni with the sausage mixture, making sure that the sausage extends past each end.
- In a wide, shallow pot, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil and sweat the onions and garlic until the garlic smells sweet, approximately 4 to 6 minutes. Add the halved tomatoes to the pan and cook until most of the liquid is gone.
- Add the stuffed rigatoni, butter and reserved pasta water. Gently shake the pan and cover with a lid, lowering the heat until the water is just simmering. After 2 minutes, remove the lid and continue to cook until most of the water is gone.
- Add the rapini, anchovies and a little Parmesan to the pot. Test one of the rigatoni to make sure the sausage is cooked through. Season with lemon juice , salt and pepper.
- Divide the pasta onto 4 plates, garnish with more Parmesan and olive oil, and serve.
- When I make this recipe, I use my home made Italian Sausage recipe. But make sure this sausage is double ground as the Italian sausage needs to be very fine.
- Make sure you use a disposable pastry bag, especially in the EU as the plastic sandwich bags are not very durable and will tear during the filling process.
- We also find it easier to fill the rigatoni if the Italian sausage is chilled and you use smaller portions in the pastry bag when filling.