This Rigatoni with Italian Sausage, Mascarpone + Walnuts is a rich, flavorful pasta recipe that can be on your table in under 30 minutes! Perfectly al dente Rigatoni pasta tossed in a velvety Mascarpone tomato sauce and finished with a shower of crunchy chopped walnuts. It might sound strange, but it’s absolutely to die for. Only 6 ingredients required!
- 1 lb sweet Italian sausage, removed from casing
- 2 whole cloves garlic, gently crushed with the side of a knife
- 1 1/2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
- salt and pepper to taste, plus plenty of salt for the pasta water
- 1/2 lb Rigatoni or any other short shaped pasta *(see note)
- 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
- 1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped
- Place a large pot of water on the stove and bring it up to a boil.
- Add the sausage to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Use a spatula to break it up into little bits as it cooks. When the sausage is browned, add the garlic cloves and cook for about a minute.
- Add the crushed tomatoes, lower the heat and let simmer for 5-10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add a generous amount of salt to the boiling water, then drop in the pasta, give it a stir, and cook until al dente (follow package directions as time will vary with each brand).
- While the pasta cooks, stir the mascarpone into the tomato sauce until blended. Remove the garlic cloves and discard if desired (I always leave them in).
- Scoop out a cup of pasta water and set aside. Drain the pasta when it’s ready, then add it to the pan with the sauce. Toss around for a few minutes until fully each piece of pasta is fully coated in sauce. Add more pasta water a little bit at a time to help loosen it up if the sauce is too thick. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.
- Sprinkle with the chopped walnuts, then serve immediately.
*This recipe works very well with chick pea and lentil pasta for a healthier, gluten free version.
Keywords: pasta, italian, tuscan, sausage, nuts, dinner