Rigatoni with Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Sauce and Sausage

In honor of a cookbook that is (almost) ready, the creme de la creme of all meals.  IFKYK.

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Rigatoni with Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Sauce and Sausage

Course: Main Course
Keyword: Weeknight Meals
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Denise


  • 12 oz rigatoni pasta
  • Kosher salt

Sausage Mixture:

  • 2 Tbsp avocado or olive oil plus more for serving
  • 1 small yellow onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic diced
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 lb. ground Italian sausage mild
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 cup white wine or water

Red Pepper Sauce:

  • 12 oz. jar roasted red peppers
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  • tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese plus more for serving
  • Fresh basil roughly chopped or torn, for serving
  • Freshly ground black pepper for serving


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  • While water is heating, make sausage mixture. Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil over medium high heat in a large, high sided skillet or Dutch oven. Add onions and garlic. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until lightly browned. Add salt to season. Add ground sausage and Italian seasoning. Cook 6-7 minutes or until browned.
  • While cooking, use a wooden spoon or spatula to break up into small pieces. Once sausage is well browned, add garlic and ¼ cup white wine or water to pan to deglaze, scraping any brown bits off the bottom. Once deglazing liquid is mostly evaporated and garlic is fragrant, turn off heat and transfer sausage mixture to bowl. Set bowl and skillet aside.
  • Once pasta water is boiling, add rigatoni. Cook for 9-10 minutes, or until very al dente. Pasta will finish cooking in the sauce.
  • While pasta is cooking, make red pepper sauce. Add the roasted red peppers, garlic cloves, salt, pepper, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper to the blender. Pulse until smooth. In the pan the sausage was cooked in, melt 2T 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.
  • Set aside 1/2 cup pasta water and add al dente noodles to sauce. Let simmer, adding a little pasta water at a time if necessary, to loosen sauce. Cook 3-4 mins or until noodles are done. Add sausage mixture to pan and stir to incorporate everything together and heat through. Spoon into serving bowls and top with grated parmesan, basil, and a drizzle of olive oil as desired.
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