Saturday, January 26, 2013

Baked Rigatoni

Feel like a twist on the standard pasta casserole? Try this one out! The squash and cinnamon were interesting additions, and I was a bit skeptical at first, but it proved to be the perfect match to chicken sausage.


1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 c. dry white wine (I used a Sauvignon Blanc)
3/4 lb sweet Italian turkey sausage (I used 1 lb Italian chicken sausage instead)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 lb diced butternut squash
2 c. (1 15 oz can) tomato sauce
1 c. Vegetable broth
1/3 c. Heavy cream (I used half and half because it was in the fridge!)
Salt and pepper
1 lb. rigatoni
2 c. Shredded fontina cheese (I couldn't find this anywhere, so I used an Italian cheese blend)
1/4 c. Grated Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the onion, and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the garlic, and continue to sauté until the onion is golden.  Add the white wine and cook until it has evaporated and the onion is browned. Add the sausage and cook until it is no longer pink. Add the cinnamon.

Add the squash, tomato sauce, broth, and cream. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid boils.  Reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes until squash is tender. Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, cook noodles in boiling water until al dente (tender but not soft). Drain well, then add the pasta to the sauce.  Mix in 1 cup of the cheese.  Spread the pasta into a 9x13 pan. Top with remaining cheese and sprinkle with the Parmesan.

Bake until the cheese melts and bubbles, about 10 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.