Rigatoni With Sausage, Tomato, and Goat Milk Ricotta

This is a really easy and really delicious pasta dish, and if you are a vegetarian, you can just leave out the sausage, or replace it with mushrooms.

one pound rigatoni
one half pound goat milk ricotta cheese
three fourths pound sweet Italian sausage (Esposito’s is the fucken best, if you can get it)
asseloade of diced garlic
dried thyme
dried oregano
dried dill
fresh-ground black pepper
dried red chile flakes
olive oil
chopped basil
one half cup white wine
one large can crushed san marzanos
grated parmigiano reggiano

Sautee the garlic with the herbs and spices until it starts to lightly toast.

Remove the sausage from the casing, add to pan, and sautee until it is lightly browned, breaking it up really well.

Deglaze with the wine, turn up the heat, and reduce until the alcohol is gone.

Add the tomatoes, bring to a boil, and then turn down the heat to a low simmer and cover. While it simmers, bring the pasta water to a boil, adding some salt.

When the sauce is nearly done simmering (twenty minutes or so), add the pasta to the water and throw some basil into the sauce.

This is the goat cheese ricotta, which they sell at the Union Square Greenmarket. When we bought this yesterday, the Lynnhaven stand also had seasonal goat milk chocolate truffles, which are fucken off the hook. The proprietor told us that they are such a fucken pain in the ass to make, that she only does it during the year-end holidays.

When the rigatoni is very molto al dente–about two minutes less than fully cooked–drain it and throw it in the sauce with the ricotta.

Turn up the heat to medium-high and finish the pasta with gentle stirring for a minute or two, adding a little of the pasta water to loosen the sauce if necessary.

Plate, sprinkle, grate, and eat! I served this with a 2007 Tuscan white wine that has started to oxidize and so has a nice nutty flavor. The uninitiated might think this wine is spoiled, but it is actually perfect right now, although in a few months, this 2007 vintage will finally be no good.


  1. says

    Goat cheese ricotta? Swoon. I swear I’d run five miles on my treadmill every day for a month if I could have just one dinner at your house, Physio. With wine, please. I like nice and nutty, in wine and in friends.

  2. Rodney Nelson says

    This recipe, minus the ricotta (and the dill, which is only good for pickles), is what I make when I’m too lazy to cook anything requiring any energy. Oh yeah, I skip the red pepper flakes because I like to taste the food instead of searing my mouth. Red pepper flakes are useful when you’ve screwed up a recipe so badly you don’t want to taste it. The Proffe probably screws up most of his cooking, considering how he sticks red pepper flakes in everything.

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