Rigatoni and Sausage in Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

In honor of our cookbook launch day, I present to you the OG. The best, most amazing, crowd pleasing, make it again dish. IYKYK, am I right?!

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Rigatoni and Sausage in Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Course: Main Course
Keyword: Gluten Free, Under 30 Minutes, Weeknight Meals
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Denise


  • 12 oz rigatoni pasta regular or gluten free
  • 1 small yellow onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 pound ground mild Italian sausage
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine or water
  • avocado or olive oil
  • kosher salt

For sauce:

  • 15 oz. jar roasted red peppers drained
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  • tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese plus more to serve
  • basil


  • Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil.
  • While water is heating up, make sausage mixture. Heat a large, high sided skillet or Dutch over medium high heat and add about 2 tablespoons oil. Add onions and garlic and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently, until lightly browned. Add sausage, Italian seasoning, and ½ teaspoon salt.  Cook 6-7 minutes, breaking up sausage into small pieces and stirring occasionally until browned.
  • Once sausage is well browned, add ¼ cup white wine or water to skillet to deglaze, scraping any brown bits off the bottom. Once liquid is mostly evaporated, turn off heat and transfer sausage mixture to bowl. Set bowl and skillet aside.
  • Once pasta water is boiling, add rigatoni. Cook for 8-9 minutes or until very al dente – the pasta will finish cooking in the sauce.
  • Meanwhile, make red pepper sauce. Add the roasted red peppers, garlic cloves, salt, pepper, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper to a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth.
  • In the skillet the sausage was cooked in, melt butter on medium heat. Once melted, add red pepper mixture, stir and bring to a simmer. Add heavy cream and parmesan, stir until smooth and bring to a simmer again.
  • Drain al dente noodles, reserving ½ cup pasta water. Transfer noodles to sauce and let simmer, adding a little pasta water if necessary, to loosen sauce. Cook 3-4 mins or until noodles are cooked. Add sausage mixture to the skillet and stir to incorporate everything together. Once heated through, check for seasoning and adjust to taste. Spoon pasta into serving bowls and top with more grated parmesan, torn basil leaves, freshly ground black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil as desired.
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