This Rigatoni with Grilled Sausage is an easy dinner because as the sausages grill the pasta can be made and the sauce is amazing, too. A rich, creamy tomato sauce that will have you going back for more after each bite.
Rigatoni with Grilled Sausage
The sauce that is used in this dish comes from one of my favorite pasta sauces and it’s so easy to prepare.
Vodka Pasta Sauce is one that packs the flavor and is made with minimal effort. Rigatoni pasta, with all it’s ridges, helps the sauce to cling to each shell.
Sautéed onion, tomato paste and cream make for one easy and tasty sauce. Adding the key ingredient of vodka adds a sharp peppery, herbal note that helps balance the sweetness of the cream and tomatoes. All you need is 2 ounces or one of those mini bar, airline bottles.
What kind of Sausage to use?
There are so many sausages, but ones that work well with this sauce are:
- Sweet Italian Sausages
- Hot Italian Sausages
I would not use a Breakfast or Maple flavored sausage. It would not go well with the Vodka Sauce in my opinion, but feel free to grill your favorite sausage. Enjoy!
How to make Vodka Sauce?
Olive oil sautés diced onion and garlic, red pepper flakes, and an entire 4.5 ounce tube of tomato paste goes in the pan and cooks. Deglaze the pan with vodka, add the heavy cream, some pasta water and the easiest, creamiest, signature orange sauce happens.
Why is this vodka sauce better?
Using tomato paste allows you that intense tomato flavor that you would get from slowly simmering crushed tomatoes, but in less time.
This Rigatoni with Grilled Sausage is a great meal to feed a crowd.
All you need to do is add some fresh basil, freshly sliced lemons and grated parmesan cheese and you are good to serve. Enjoy!
This is fantastic with garlic bread, but you can also look at these ideas for a dinner tonight!
- Zesty Homemade Focaccia Bread
I show you step by step how easy it is to make Homemade Focaccia Bread. Thick, airy, flat Italian bread brushed with a tomato sauce that’s your new garlic bread or roll substitute.
- Flat Wedge Salad
The bacon gets taken up a notch in the flavor department with a slightly spicy, sweet basting of cayenne and maple syrup while it cooks! Lots of bleu cheese dressing and other toppings make this complete!
- Blood Orange Salad
A classic salad from Sicily, this Blood Orange Salad is a refreshing salad made with chilled blood orange slices, red onion, salt, black pepper and a little drizzle of olive oil.
- Shortbread Lemon Bars
Super easy to make and will be gone in no time. With a buttery shortbread crust and puckery, sweet lemon curd, these are a great way to use up some of Summer’s citrus.
Rigatoni with Grilled Sausage
- 1 lb Hot Italian Sausages
- 16 oz rigatoni pasta
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 yellow onion diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 4.5 oz tomato paste double concentrate
- 2 oz vodka
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- kosher salt to taste
- fresh basil to garnish
- grated parmesan cheese optional
- 2 lemons sliced
- Heat grill to 350°F or stove top grill pan over medium high heat. Place sausages on the grill, cover and cook, turning occasionally until they are cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. If using a grill pan cook 4-5 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Set aside and keep warm.
- Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Cook pasta for 11 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water, set aside and start the sauce.
- Heat the oil over medium high heat in a skillet and sauté the onion for for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, kosher salt and red pepper flakes. Stir and cook another 2 minutes.
- Add tomato paste and stir, scraping up browned bits. Cook this for 5 more minutes. Deglaze the pan with the vodka, stirring constantly and then add the heavy cream. Stir until smooth and creamy. The sauce with be a bright orange. Season to taste.
- Drain pasta, but do not rinse it. Put it back into the large pot with the reserved cup of pasta water and pour vodka sauce on top. Stir to coat and simmer for a few minutes, or until sauce thickens and is shiny and emulsified.
- Serve immediately with grilled sausages, basil leaves to garnish, lemon slices and top with freshly grated parmesan cheese.