Are you the type of person who only goes to sporting events for that huge Italian sausage and pepper hoagie? We’re right there with you. This week, our chefs took the beloved dish from stadium fare to elegant weeknight dinner with a few delicious twists. First, they dropped the bready bun and replaced it with al dente rigatoni. The tasty tubes are tossed in an ultra-creamy sauce studded with crispy bits of pork sausage and sweet sautéed bell pepper. Psst—did we mention there’s Parmesan cheese in the sauce and sprinkled on top? Yeah, it’s safe to say this dish knocks it out of the park.
Produced in a facility that processes milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybean.
Italian Pork Sausage
• Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Wash and dry all produce. • Halve, core, and thinly slice bell pepper into strips. Trim and thinly slice scallions, separating whites from greens. Dice tomato into ½-inch pieces. Zest and quarter lemon. • Remove sausage* from casing; discard casing.
• Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper and scallion whites; cook, stirring, until slightly softened, 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
• Add sausage to pan; cook, breaking up meat into pieces, until browned and cooked through, 4-6 minutes. • Season with salt and pepper. If you like things spicy, stir in a pinch of chili flakes and cook until fragrant, 15 seconds. TIP: If there’s excess grease in your pan, carefully pour it out.
• Once water is boiling, add rigatoni to pot. Cook until al dente, 9-11 minutes. • Reserve ½ cup pasta cooking water, then drain.
• Add tomato to pan with sausage mixture and cook until softened, 1-2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low. • Stir in cream cheese, sour cream, half the Parmesan (save the rest for serving), ¼ cup reserved pasta cooking water, and 1 TBSP butter until thoroughly combined. (For 4 servings, use 1⁄3 cup reserved pasta cooking water and 2 TBSP butter.) • Season with salt, pepper, and lemon zest to taste. Add drained rigatoni and toss to coat. TIP: If needed, stir in more reserved pasta cooking water a splash at a time until pasta is coated in a creamy sauce.
• Divide pasta between bowls. Sprinkle with scallion greens, remaining Parmesan, and a pinch of chili flakes if desired. Serve with lemon wedges on the side.