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Rigatoni with Spicy Calabrese-Style Pork Ragù

Rigatoni with Spicy Calabrese-Style Pork Ragù

Any short, tubular pasta will work with this meaty ragù. We used sedanini ("little celery") on the cover, but easier-to-find rigatoni and penne are great, too.



  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • 1 carrot, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 celery stalk, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 teaspoons fresh oregano leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley, divided
  • 1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 pound hot or sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 pound mezzi rigatoni or penne rigate
  • 3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan or Grana Padano, plus more

Recipe Preparation

  • Pulse onion, carrot, celery, garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, and 1/4 cup parsley in a food processor until finely chopped; transfer to a small bowl and set aside. Purée tomatoes with juices in processor; set aside.

  • Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat; add sausage and cook, breaking up with a spoon, until browned, about 4 minutes. Add ground pork, season with salt and pepper, and cook, breaking up with a spoon, until no longer pink. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate.

  • Increase heat to medium-high. Add reserved vegetable mixture to drippings in pot, season with salt, and cook, stirring often, until golden, 8-10 minutes.

  • Stir tomato paste and 1 cup water in a small bowl; add to pot. Cook, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until liquid has almost evaporated, 6-8 minutes.

  • Add reserved meat and tomato purée and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, adding more water as needed to keep meat nearly submerged, until meat is tender, about 4 hours. Season with salt.

  • Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain, reserving 2 cups pasta cooking liquid.

  • Add pasta and 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid to sauce; stir to coat. Stir in 3/4 cup Parmesan and remaining 1/4 cup parsley. Increase heat to medium and continue stirring, adding more pasta cooking liquid as needed, until sauce coats pasta. Divide among bowls; top with more Parmesan.

  • Do Ahead: Ragù can be made 3 days ahead. Let cool. Cover and chill, or freeze for up to 2 months. Reheat before using.

Nutritional Content

6 servings, 1 serving contains: Calories (kcal) 890 Fat (g) 47 Saturated Fat (g) 16 Cholesterol (mg) 110 Carbohydrates (g) 72 Dietary Fiber (g) 6 Total Sugars (g) 11 Protein (g) 42 Sodium (mg) 1480Reviews SectionSara’s high level culinary skills shine through on this creation. Being professionally trained as well, after perusing the ingredients, and the process, I precisely crafted it myself. A take on the classic Bolognese. Thank you for sharing. It was exquisite.gtisch12Trinity, FL. 05/12/20In the age of social distancing, I had a problem getting some of the ingredients. There was no pork Italian sausage to be had, so I ended up with turkey Italian sausage. And there were no whole canned tomatoes, so I used a can of tomato puree I had in the cupboard. It turned out fine, though I wouldn't call it "spicy," even after I added an extra 1/2 teaspoon of cayene, to try to give it a little bit of kick. The flavor was rich and "porky." And it's got a nice, substantial texture. Because it makes a lot more than we can eat in a sitting, I didn't add the pasta at the end. I'm cooking as much pasta (penne, because there was no rigatoni to be had) as we eat in a sitting and saucing it at the table. That way, the pasta doesn't get mushy sitting in the sauce in the refrigerator.AnonymousDetroit, MI05/09/20Right off the bat, I didn't have the spicy Italian sausage, but did have ground pork, So I made this sauce exactly as Sara instructed. It's delicious! I would love to know, however, why Sara uses water in the sauce? I LOVED it and think it had something to do with that water. In fact I used to add water when I was first making sauce. I think my aunt, who had married an Italian-American whose mother was an Italian immigrant (to Worcester, MA in the 1950's). I believe this is how she made her sauce. Can Sara Jenkins weigh in on 1. Why this is a Calabrese style sauce? and 2. Why the water? Thank you.kateconeWaterville, Maine02/16/19

Watch the video: How to prepare Rigatoni with Pork Ragu (June 2021).