It’s been cold here…really really cold, and to compensate we’ve been making a lot of soup, chili and other “warm” dinners. On Friday I was at the store, needing to get something to make for dinner, and I couldn’t think of one thing that sounded warm enough (or uncomplicated enough—I was feeling extraordinarily lazy). I finally grabbed a package of sweet Italian sausage and some tomato paste and headed home, visions of baked rigatoni dancing in my head.
I used this Williams-Sonoma recipe as a guide but adapted it to fit the ingredients I already had. First, I sauteed finely diced red onion and 2 cloves of garlic in a little bit of olive oil; then I added salt, pepper, dried oregano and some crumbled dried basil. When the onions were quite soft I poured in a can of tomato sauce and added about a tablespoon of tomato paste. I let that simmer and browned the sausage; when it was cooked through I drained off the fat and added the sausage to the sauce. Then I boiled the pasta, drained it, returned it to the pot and stirred in the meat sauce.
I layered the pasta with mozzarella and parmesan per the Williams-Sonoma recipe and it came out piping hot and very delicious 25 minutes later. Highly recommend. We have lots of leftovers, so this would probably serve 5 or 6 people.