Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Rigatoncini with Sausage, Fresh Ricotta, and Orange Zest

Fresh ricotta is a wonderful thing and it shines it this recipe with a little bit of orange zest to brighten it up. We used a nice lamb sausage from our CSA box with this and it worked beautifully. Although this recipe works great as is, I think there are two small changes that could push it over the edge into phenomenal. First, the sausage slices sometimes mean the meat gets lost in the dish. They could be cut up smaller OR even better, maybe crumbled and then you could skip the step of roasting the sausage in the oven. I also wanted a bit of green in the dish to make it more visually appealing. Next time, I would probably wilt some baby spinach on top.

One year ago: Cashew Cheese with a Bell Pepper Sauce
Two years ago: Thai-inspired Tacos
Three years ago: Vegetable Lasagna

Rigatoncini with Sausage, Fresh Ricotta, and Orange Zest (The Cheesemonger's Kitchen)

1 lb/455g whole Italian sweet sausages
1 lb/455g dried rigatoncini pasta
6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1 lb/455g fresh ricotta cheese
100g grated Pecorino Romano cheese
2 oranges, for zesting

1. Preheat oven to 375F.
2. Place sausages on a baking sheet and roast for 25 - 30 minutes or until cooked through.
3. Let sausages cool and cut into 6 pieces each.
4. Bring plenty of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente (9 - 12 minutes).
5. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in large saute pan. Add sausages along with garlic and saute over medium-high heat for 4 - 5 minutes until crisp and garlic is golden.
6. Splash in a tablespoon of the pasta water to stop garlic from cooking. Remove from heat and ricotta to sausages.
7. Drain cooked pasta and add to pan.
8. Add half of pecorino and toss well.
9. Zest oranges into pasta and toss again. Season with salt and pepper.
10. Serve with remaining pecorino.

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