What's for Dinner, Barbara-jo?! Jamie Maw's Rigatoni with Pork Sausage Ragu

Jamie Maw's Rigatoni with Pork Sausage Ragu

Serves 4 to 6 – recipe doubles easily, even better the next day.


* 6 Italian pork sausages – 3 hot/3 not (Oyama recommended) casings removed and broken up.

* ¼ cup – extra virgin olive oil

* 4 cloves garlic, whacked and minced * 1 large red onion, diced

* 1 large tin whole San Marzano tomatoes, squeezed

* Pinch of chili flakes to taste * salt and pepper, to taste

* ¼ cup heavy cream

* 2 handfuls (100 grams) ground Pecorino Romano (or Parmesan), divided

* Rigatoni

* 1 bunch Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped

* 1 bunch basil, leaves torn


In a large skillet on medium-high heat, thoroughly brown the crumbled sausage meat in the olive oil – about 10 minutes – scraping the skillet occasionally.

Turn the burner down to medium, and add the diced onion and garlic and sauté until translucent – about 5 minutes. Throw in the squeezed tomatoes and let them cook down for at least 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning – salt and pepper, and chili flakes - as required. Add the cream and a handful of the cheese and stir.

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the rigatoni to al dente. Before draining, reserve a cup of the pasta water. Add three quarters of the drained pasta to the skillet and toss gently. Adjust seasoning. Add more pasta as required. Add reserved pasta water as needed to loosen sauce, gently fold in the basil and serve the sauced pasta topped with the remaining Pecorino Romano and finally, the chopped parsley.

Serve with a leafy salad with a pungent vinaigrette, and toasted garlic-butter baguette.


Jamie Maw has been writing about food and drink since shortly after the (first) Crimean War.