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This Rigatoni with Sausage, Peas, Tomatoes and Cream is easy enough for a weeknight, but special enough for a weekend.

This Rigatoni with Sausage, Peas, Tomatoes and Cream is easy enough for a weeknight, but special enough for a weekend.

Photos Updated February 2015


Originally posted January 29, 2010 – the weather here in Utah has been so mild this winter, but that hasn’t stopped me from craving comfort food!! This Rigatoni with Sausage, Peas, Tomatoes and Cream is a great recipe for one of those nights when you are craving a big bowl of comfort. It cooks up fairly quickly, making it great for a weeknight, although it reminds me of a Sunday supper. No matter the weather outside, you can’t go wrong with a big bowl full of this pasta!

One thing I like the best about Biba’s Taste of Italy is that there are stories to go along with the recipes. It’s not just a cookbook – it’s like traveling through Italy and learning more about this region and it’s people. As I was going through the book trying to decide what to make for this week’s recipe, I came across this pasta recipe. But it was the story, more than the recipe, that caught my attention. The author – Biba Caggiano – tells of how Italian women are known to be able to cook at the spur of the moment, coming up with delicious concoctions just from their refrigerators and pantries. I’ve always wished I was like that. Every once in awhile I can throw something pretty decent together, but for the most part, I’m a recipe kind of girl. This recipe comes from Biba’s sister, who prepared it one night after coming home from a long afternoon of shopping.

Recipe notes:

  • The original recipe calls for pancetta, but I used bacon, mostly because the line at the grocery store deli was super long and I had a fussy child with me. But I really enjoyed the smokiness from the bacon.
  • I didn’t have any white wine on hand, so I just used a bit of chicken stock, because I had some open in the refrigerator. Worked perfectly! (I actually do this a lot when a recipe calls for wine.)
  • The original recipe actually calls for homemade tomato sauce, and there is a recipe in the book that I’m dying to try next summer when I have fresh tomatoes from the garden. But I didn’t think it would be worth the effort to make tomato sauce from scratch when tomatoes aren’t that great this time of year. Canned worked just fine!
  • This is a hearty dish, and the serving size is very generous. I made half the recipe, and it was more than enough for us.

This was a home run!
Rigatoni with Sausage, Peas, Tomatoes and Cream - super comforting and super easy!

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Rigatoni wtih Sausage, Peas, Tomatoes and Cream
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This Rigatoni with Sausage, Peas, Tomatoes and Cream is easy enough for a weeknight, but special enough for a weekend.
Serves: 4-6 servings
  • 1 cup fresh peas or thawed frozen peas
  • salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ⅓ cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1 link (about ¼ lb.) mild Italian sausage
  • 2 to 3 ounces sliced bacon, finely chopped
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • 3 cups tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 1 pound dried rigatoni
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  1. In a large skillet over medium-low heat, heat the butter and olive oil. Add the onion and cook until soft and golden, 5-6 minutes. Raise the heat to high and add in the sausage and bacon. Cook, breaking up the sausage with a wooden spoon, until cooked through and browned, 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add the chicken stock to the skillet and cook until most of it has evaporated. Stir in the tomato sauce and heavy cream. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Add in the peas and cook an additional minute or two. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the rigatoni until drained. Return the pasta to the pot.
  4. When the sauce is done, pour it over the cooked pasta and stir to coat the pasta. Stir in a handful of the Parmigiano-Reggiano and stir to coat. Serve the pasta with the remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano.
slightly adapted from Biba's Taste of Italy

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This Rigatoni with Sausage, Peas, Tomatoes and Cream is easy enough for a weeknight, but special enough for a weekend.

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14 Responses to Rigatoni with Sausage, Peas, Tomatoes and Cream

  1. Dawn says:

    you pick the best meals!

  2. ARLENE says:

    Sounds like a great cookbook. Rigatoni are one of my favorite pasta shapes. Hold the peas for me and I'm there–sausage and pancetta and cream, oh, my!

  3. grace says:

    delicious! i'm beginning to think that all pasta dishes should contain either sausage or peas or, ideally, both. 🙂

  4. teresa says:

    your photos look like they come straight from a magazine, gorgeous! this look fantastic, my whole family would love it!

  5. Sweet and Savory says:

    Yum! I'm glad I'm not the only one who cuts corners (especially when a fussy child is in tow!)

  6. Bellini Valli says:

    I'd say this is a homerun too:D

  7. Kim says:

    This sounds like a definite winner for dinner! I dread waiting in the deli line. Why is it always so long;D

  8. Aggie says:

    Wow, this is total comfort food in my book! I haven't been here in a while, sadly…love your new look!!!

  9. Sophie says:

    I really like the sound of this cookbook. The stories make the recipes even more tempting to make :D. Ah, I wish I was able to come up with spur of the moment recipes like this!

    I think I would've used bacon instead, too… we're big fans here :).

  10. Kristin says:

    I've been making this recipe for years – love it. Easy to make variations to, too!

  11. TonyWendice says:

    I’ve always wanted to recreate this recipe. But you should have an option to print this out so I don’t have to write the whole thing out by hand!

    • Deborah says:

      The newer recipes on the site all have a print option, and I’m slowly going through the older recipes and updating them. I have updated this one for you, so you can print it now!

  12. Liz says:

    A nice recipe. Thanks so much.

  13. Chels R. says:

    This is calling my name. I love comfort food!

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