Pasta once a week is a staple at our house.
We love the endless possibilities pasta presents. With over 50 distinct types—even more when you add in the different sizes– that number goes even higher. Today’s recipe is a riff on one in this month’s Bon Appetit. The entire issue is devoted to the concept that “Short is Sweet and Savory”. To make up for our year of cooking endlessly, the magazine suggests ‘we’ve earned the right to spend some time outside the kitchen.’ The goal is to deliver great flavor in as little time as possible. And this recipe delivers all that in spades. It takes the sweetness of corn, the crunch of snap peas and pairs them with the spice of “hot” Italian sausages. And to make it all cling to the Rigatoni, a little cream, parmigiano and butter never hurt.
The name rigatoni comes from the Italian word ‘rigate’ which means ridged, grooved or lined. This particular pasta was never homemade. It came about after pasta production became mechanized in Italy. Many Italian cooks believe the ridges make a better surface for sauces and cheese to adhere to than smooth pasta like penne. Unlike penne, rigatoni’s ends are square cut instead of diagonally. De Cecco, my preferred brand of pasta, makes three different sizes of Rigatoni. There’s the full-sized Rigatoni used here, Mezzi Rigatoni and Rigatoni Napolitani. The latter, named for Naples, is longer and thicker and highly recommended for hearty meat ragùs—especially when they are oven baked.
Here’s today’s recipe followed by links to some other Rigatoni favorites.
Corn, Snap Pea and Sausage Rigatoni
The sweetness of corn, the crunch of snap peas paired with the spice of “hot” Italian sausages and Rigatoni makes a perfect weeknight dish.
- 12 oz. Rigatoni
- Kosher Salt
- ¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 lb. Hot Italian Sausages, casings removed and crumbled
- 6 cloves of Garlic, thinly sliced
- 2 cups of Fresh or Frozen Corn (Defrosted)
- 2 cups of Snap Peas, trimmed
- 4 tbsp. Unsalted Butter
- ½ cup Heavy Cream
- 2 oz. of Reggiano Parmigiano, coarsely grated plus more for serving
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- Step 1 Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium-high. Add sausage and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until browned and cooked through, 6–8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer sausage to a plate.
- Step 2 Reduce heat to medium and cook garlic in same pot, stirring occasionally, until light golden around edges, about 2 minutes.
- Step 3 Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente
- Step 4 drain, reserving 2 cups pasta cooking liquid.
- Step 5 While the pasta cooks, in a small saucepan bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Immerse trimmed snap peas in the boiling water for 30 seconds. Using a strainer, remove the peas and run them under cold water. Set aside.
- Step 6 To the Dutch oven Add corn and ½ cup water to pot and cook, stirring often, until corn is mostly tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in pasta and 1 cup pasta cooking liquid. Then add cream and butter and cook, stirring, until butter is melted and sauce is smooth and creamy.