This has been a meal I made all the time for my kids and I was surprised to find I had not blogged about it yet. My first and foremost reason for starting the blog was to catalog my dishes and recipes, if you can call them that, and it has served me well. I find myself searching my own posts quite often to reference what I might have done for a particular dish. It's been a great way to keep track of everything.
My last semester in college, I waitressed at a restaurant downtown. At the end of my shift, I'd often order their Rigatoni and Sausage Marinara. It was delicious and I was always starving. It was a very satisfying end to a hectic night of running around.
The marinara is quite simple.
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
1/2 small sweet onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup olive oil
3-4 tbsp heavy cream
2 tbsp fresh basil
In a large sauce pan, saute onions in olive oil until softened. Then add in the garlic for a couple of minutes before adding the crushed tomatoes. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. If you find your sauce is not sweet enough, add a little sugar. I'm sure this is what restaurants do as you cannot always control the sweetness of the tomatoes you get. Alternatively, you can use a jar of ready made sauce or make your own sauce from fresh tomatoes.
In a separate pan, brown 1/2 lb Italian sausage. Add marinara to the sausage along with the cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Boil rigatoni according to package instructions minus a minute or two so it is more al dente. Add rigatoni to the sauce along with the basil and saute together for a few minutes. Finish with grated parmesan. The kids were so excited, I realized it had been too long since I last made this. Their favorite was that the sauce got in the middle of the rigatoni and squeezed out when you bit into it. And best yet, this sauce makes enough for the kids' lunches the next day.