Italian Sausage with Rigatoni and Fresh Mozzarella

Italian Sausage with Rigatoni and Fresh Mozzarella

Ah, freshly prepared pasta and sauce in await you in this menu of simple pasta and salad. We don't count some of the pantry staples like salt and pepper as well as Olive Oil when we cook these recipes. What we do pay attention to is Bruno's Buy One Get One Free Sales! Our Italian Sausage, Fresh Mozzarella and French bread are half price and not really a splurge when you get a hold of a great deal like this one!

Serves 4

Ingredients

½ pound dried pasta of your choice.                         $.89

** Use something like penne or rigatoni or farfalle. These pastas hold sauce. Spaghetti, linguini and long slender noodles wont work as well


2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 large shallot or 1 small onion                                   $.37
2 cloves of garlic                                                         $.20
3 links of Italian sweet sausage                                  $2.49              
1/2 large egg fresh mozzarella                                     $2.50
salt & pepper
1/2 cup beef stock                                                       $1.00

Dole Bagged Salad blend                                           $2.99


How to Prepare

Start by heating up a pot of salted water for the pasta.  When the water is at a boil, add the pasta and cook until it is no longer tough but not quite soft.

Finely chop the shallot or onion and mince the garlic.  Heat up a medium sized sautee pan  when hot, add the olive oil. When the olive oil is hot but not smoking, add the onion and cook on medium-high heat for a couple of minutes.

Add the garlic, being careful not to let it burn. Add Sausage which has been removed from casing and crumbled then cooked until brown.

Add the beef stock. Let this reduce by about half.  I also like to add a little of the water the pasta is cooking in because it has some starch in it from the pasta.  It doesn't take much—maybe 1/4 to 1/2 cup. This starch combined with the cheese and olive oil will help form an emulsion to thicken the sauce and help make sure that the sauce sticks to the pasta. Taste the sauce, and season with salt and pepper.

When the pasta is perfectly cooked "to the tooth," drain it and add it to the sauce pan.  Add the cut up mozzarella cheese and continue to stir. The heat from the pasta and the sauce will melt the fresh mozzarella. Taste and make any spicing adjustments prior to serving.

Serve immediately, great past and sauce waits for no one! Serve with a tossed green salad to add some crunch and some greens to the meal.

Cooking at Noon - November 9, 2009