Make sure to have extra fresh Parmesan on the table for sprinkling!
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
- 1 pound bulk Italian sausage, mild
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
- 2 ribs celery, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 large can (28 ounces) plum tomatoes, crushed
- 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup dry red wine
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried leaf basil
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- salt, to taste
- 1 pound rigatoni pasta
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley, optional
Put the butter and olive oil in the skillet and heat over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, and celery and cook, stirring, for about 4 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute longer. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, water, and wine. Add pepper and basil and sugar. Add the sausage to the sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Cover and simmer for about 1 hour.
Meanwhile, cook pasta just before sauce is done cooking, following the package directions. Drain in a colander and rinse with hot water.
Add the cream cheese to the tomato sauce and add salt to taste; stir until cream cheese is melted. Combine the hot drained pasta with the sauce mixture and about half of the Parmesan cheese. Mix to blend. Put the pasta mixture in a serving dish and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle with parsley, if using. Serve hot and have more Parmesan cheese at the table.