Roasted Red Pepper Rigatoni with Italian Sausage

Roasted Red Pepper Rigatoni with Italian Sausage

I love pasta, pretty much all pasta. As a matter of fact, I never met a pasta I didn’t like. Though there are some (like a few people I know) that I like better than others. This pasta is one of those that I like best of all. The creamy, spicy red pepper sauce mixed with savory Italian sausage (thank you, Hungry Planet) and served over freshly made rigatoni noodles makes my cuore felice! Did I say that correctly?

Anyway, this simple recipe comes together quickly, and if you’re anything like me, this will make your heart happy too! I love the Hungry Planet Italian sausage here. The texture and flavor shine in this recipe, and with zero grams of saturated fat (Impossible Sausage has 4g of saturated fat), you cannot go wrong. You just have to make sure you don’t eat all the sausage while you’re waiting on your pasta to boil!

 


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Roasted Red Pepper Rigatoni with Italian Sausage

  • Author: Stephanie Bosch
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Total Time: 40
  • Yield: 6 large servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

The ultimate winter comfort food!  It’s a little spicy and very flavorful!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 (16 oz) package of vegan rigatoni pasta
  • 1 (12 oz) package Hungry Planet Italian Sausage, or another plant-based alternative
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch (arrowroot powder works well, too)
  • 4 tablespoons vegan butter (separated in half)
  • 12 pieces of bread torn into small bite-sized pieces
  • 1 (12 oz) jar roasted red peppers, drained and roughly chopped
  • 1 cup Silk half and half
  • 1/2 cup red wine (or, 1/4 cup red wine vinegar and 1/4 cup water mixed)
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sage
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup vegan parmesan, grated or shredded
  • fresh parsley, minced
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional, but recommended)

 


Instructions

Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and spray a 12″ round or oval baking dish with non-stick spray. I used my largest oval French Corningware with a glass lid.

Spice mix:

In a small bowl, mix 1/2 tsp garlic powder with 1 1/2 teaspoons: oregano, sage, and a pinch of salt and pepper.

Bread Crumbs:

Add breadcrumbs, 2 tbsp melted butter, and half of the spice mixture to a bowl. Toss well to coat. Toast in oven for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Set aside.

Pasta:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, cook pasta according to the instructions on the package (each pasta varies). Reserve one cup of pasta water and set it aside. Drain well, and do not rinse.** Add cooked pasta to a large bowl.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, add the sausage to a large skillet and cook over medium heat until browned. Carefully remove sausage from skillet and set aside. In the same pan, add the remaining 2 tbsp’s butter, a pinch of salt and pepper, and the remaining teaspoon of garlic powder and cook until the butter is melted and bubbling. Add onions and red peppers. Stir frequently until onions become translucent, about 5-6 minutes. Add minced garlic, and saute until fragrant @ 30 seconds. Add red wine and use a spatula to stir well and deglaze any fond* from the bottom of the pan. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until liquid evaporates, 2-3 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and carefully the ingredients to a blender, or use an immersion blender, add cornstarch, and puree until smooth—return sauce to the pan.
  4. Over medium heat, stir in half-and-half. Add 1/2 cup parmesan, cooked sausage, and remaining spices to the sauce. Stir frequently and cook until sausage has warmed through, about 2-3 minutes. Taste for seasoning, add salt and pepper, and additional spices if needed.
  5. Add pasta to skillet and stir well to coat. Add 1/2 cup pasta water, and mix well. Pour into the prepared baking dish. Add remaining cheese, and top with buttered herbed breadcrumbs.
  6. Bake covered for 25 minutes, or until bread crumbs are lightly golden.
  7. Serve garnished with fresh parsley, red pepper flakes, and additional parmesan. Enjoy!

Notes

*Fond, is quite simply, is the stuff that sticks to your pan after browning meat or vegetables on the stovetop, or at the bottom of a roasting pan after it has come out of the oven.  Good stuff, just don’t burn it. If you do it’s no good and can ruin your dish.

**You want some starch on the outside of the pasta, as it helps the sauce adhere.

Cacio E Pepe with Roasted Tomatoes and Fennel Pollen

Cacio E Pepe with Roasted Tomatoes and Fennel Pollen

Cacio E Pepe translates into cheese and pepper, and it is my two girls’ favorite pasta on earth. It is a fancy mac-n-cheese. The pure simplicity of this recipe makes it almost sinful to change, so I didn’t change much. I added red pepper flakes in place of the traditional black pepper and used vegan cheeses, of course. I liked the addition of the roasted tomatoes a lot. They are like little cherry bombs that explode in your mouth! The kicker for me was the fennel pollen. I have recently discovered this culinary rock star and plan to use it wisely since it is a little expensive, but the good news is that it goes a long way.

The key to this simple pasta is using just enough pasta water for cooking the pasta noodles. Too much water and you will lose all of your starch, not enough water, and you will have to add a little hot water to make the sauce. When the pasta is al dente, you will drain and save the pasta water, ensuring that you have about 2 1/2 cups. This water is what we will use to make the sauce. Add a little butter to the pan, add your pepper flakes, and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Then add the pasta water to the butter/pepper mix, and then add the pasta and cheese. Stir until the cheese, add pasta to the pan, and Boom! Dinner is served!

I used bucatini, but you can really use any type of pasta you want.


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Cacio E Pepe with Roasted Tomatoes and Fennel Pollen

  • Author: Stephanie Bosch

Description

This super simple pasta gets a little zing with some fennel pollen!  If you’ve never had it you will love it.  Be warned it’s kind of expensive, but a little goes a long way! 


Ingredients

Scale
  • 14 oz. pasta such as bucatini, or spaghetti (*see note)
  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted vegan butter, cubed, divided
  • 1 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
  • ¾ cup finely grated vegan Parmesan
  •  cup vegan Romano

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 425° F and prep a baking sheet with parchment paper.  
  2. Lightly spray tomatoes with avocado oil or other spray oil and dust with fennel pollen and black pepper.
  3. Roast tomatoes for 20-25 minutes, or until tomatoes are soft and fragrant. 
  4. Meanwhile, while tomatoes are roasting, boil 5 1/2 cups of salted water (about 1 1/2 tsp of salt) for your pasta. 
  5. Add pasta and stir occasionally. Cook until al dente, about 7-8 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and drain pasta, reserving 2 1/2 cups of water. Set pasta aside. (**See note)
  7. In the same pan, over medium heat, add butter and red pepper flakes. Saute for 1-2 minutes until foaming and pepper flakes are fragrant. (Be warned the pepper can fill the air and your nose!) 
  8. Add pasta water and stir. Simmer until sauce has reduced somewhat, about 5 minutes. 
  9. Reduce heat to low and add pasta and cheeses. Stir to combine and add hot water if the sauce becomes too thick. Cook until the pasta has heated through.
  10. Plate the pasta and top with roasted tomatoes. 
  11. Add additional cheese, pepper, and fennel pollen, to garnish and to taste.
  12. Serve warm. 

Notes

  • *If using gluten free pasta cook 3/4 of the way or it will fall apart.  I use about 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt to my water. Rinse pasta well when done cooking.  
  • **If you do not have 2 1/2 cups of reserved water after cooking pasta just add hot tap water.