Normally, when magazines announce a redesign aimed at the Twitter generation, I cringe. It basically means larger, shorter text, and gigantic graphics with little substance to suit our 140-character attention spans. Thankfully, the new Self doesn’t fall victim to the “just make the text bigger and include more meme references!” concept of a redesign. The stories are punchier, the photos are engaging, and it’s, well, a fun read. (And no, they didn’t pay me to tell you this.)
When I came across Curtis Stone’s Sausage Rigatoni recipe, I had to make it. Immediately. At just 8ish ingredients, it seemed simple enough to make, which made me feel completely comfortable roasting tomatoes for the first time. Guess what? It’s beyond easy to make. It’s so easy, in fact, that I’m embarrassed to admit I ever avoided recipes that involved roasting in the first place. It cooks itself!
Even though it’s called “Sausage Rigatoni,” it’s the vegetables and spices that make this recipe. The meat and pasta itself are pretty interchangeable, as I’ve found (see my tweaks below). You should try it both ways. And be sure to let me know if you come up with any modifications of your own! This 20-minute meal is worth experimenting with.
Curtis Stone’s Sausage Rigatoni…err, Meatball Cavatappi
- 12 ounces rigatoni (or whatever fun pasta you have on hand; I love Cavatappi)
- 1 container (11 ounces) cherry tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- Salt and pepper, for seasoning tomatoes
- 1/3-pound Italian sausage (casings removed) or pork meatballs, chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 4 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1/2 cup pitted black olives, quartered
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Cook pasta on stovetop according to package directions (err on the lower cook time, so the noodles are still somewhat firm). Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water.
- Place tomatoes on a baking sheet; drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss the tomatoes to thoroughly coat them. Roast tomatoes in oven until the tomato skins begin to wrinkle and split (8-10 minutes).
- Place a large saute pan over high heat, and warm there for 1 minute. Cook the sausage/meatballs, stirring regularly for about 4-5 minutes, or until the meat is lightly golden (no longer pink).
- Reduce heat to medium, add in tomatoes and garlic and cook until garlic has browned. Add reserved cooking water, stir, then add pasta and olives. (Be careful to pour slowly to avoid water splashes.) Cook for 1 minute, then turn off burner and stir in parsley. Season with salt and pepper if you’d like.