For many, the name Cape Cod is associated with long days spent at the beach, cool nights spent by a bonfire, and lavish meals of seafood consumed whilst draped in a bib. This recipe has nothing to do with any of it.
As some of you may recall, I made my first trip to Cape Cod this past July – a camping trip with my boyfriend, his family and their friends, to be exact. We ate dinner together almost every night, potluck style; at one point, there were like thirty of us! One night I made this dish to use up the ingredients we had leftover in our cooler. I cooked it on a wooden picnic table in the woods, on a tiny propane stove, with one functioning burner. Halfway through the process, I realized that the task I’d undertaken was a bit too ambitious for the given conditions, but it was too late to re-route. It felt a bit like a Top Chef Quickfire Challenge – thankfully Tom Colicchio wasn’t there to judge me. The people that did eat the pasta, however, seemed quite impressed.
Now that I made the dish at home, I changed around some of the ingredients and scaled the recipe down but the idea is still the same.
(Yield: 4 servings)
2 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves of garlic
4 Italian sausages (about 1 lb), casings removed
1/3 c dry red wine
About 12 oz canned diced tomatoes
1 tsp sugar
Salt + pepper
1 tbsp butter
A few handfuls of Parmesan cheese
1 lb rigatoni pasta
Procedure: Heat up a large skillet over medium-high heat and add oil. Peel garlic, crush with flat side of knife and add to oil. Cook for 60 seconds and add sausage. Break up sausage with wooden spatula and cook until browned, 8-10 min. Reduce heat to medium-low and add wine. Simmer for about 4 min, stirring occasionally. Then add tomatoes, sugar, 1/2 tsp pepper and a pinch of salt. Cook for 15 min, partially covered, stirring occasionally. Re-season if necessary. Meanwhile, cook pasta al dente. Then combine pasta, ragu, butter and cheese. Stir to combine. Serve hot. Pray that one of the garlic cloves nuzzles into one of your rigatoni.