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Chef Mark's recipe:
Rigatoni with a Sicilian Sausage Ragu
1 Pound - Alessi Rigatoni
1 Can - Alessi San Marzano Whole Peeled Tomatoes (28 ounce can) Strained, liquid held aside
3 Tablespoons - Alessi Tomato Paste
1 Pound - Italian Sausage, Crumbled
2 Cups - Fennel Bulb - small dice (reserve fennel fronds)
2 Cups - Medium Spanish Onion - small dice
3/4 Cup - Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 Teaspoon - Crushed Red Pepper
3/4 Cup - Parmigiano-Reggiano - Grated
1 Tablespoon - Fresh Parsley
1 Tablespoon - Fennel Fronds
1 Cup - Dry White Wine
3-4 Tablespoons - Alessi Seasoned Breadcrumbs
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Feeds 4 - 6
Over medium-high heat, heat 1/3 of olive oil until shimmering. Add sausage. Stir occasionally until sausage is fully cooked and slightly browned. Remove from pan and set aside.
Using same pan, reduce heat to medium , add 1/3 more of olive oil, add fennel and onions. Stirring occasionally, cook until onions and fennel are translucent. Scrapping any bits of sausage into mixture. Lightly season with salt and black pepper and half of crushed red pepper. (depending on how spicy you would like the dish, you can add all crushed pepper)
Add tomato paste to onion and fennel mixture. Cook an additional 2-4 minutes. Return sausage to pan, stirring all ingredients together. Add white wine. Scrapping any additional fond from bottom of pan to incorporate.
Add crushed tomatoes and fennel fronds, simmer over medium heat 30-45 minutes, adding in reserved tomato liquid in small amounts if sauce becomes too thick.
Add 2 tablespoons of kosher salt or 1 tablespoons of table salt to 6 quarts of water, bring to boil. Add pasta and cook to al dente (2 minutes less than package directions) Strain pasta, reserve 2 cups of pasta water.
Add al dente pasta to simmering ragu, adding a touch of the tomato water and pasta water as necessary. Allowing pasta to cook in sauce for an additional 1-2 minutes. Stirring constantly. Turn heat off. Mix in half of parsley and half of Parmigiano-Reggiano until well incorporated. Plate into warm bowls. Add sprinkling of parsley to each serving. Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and top with dusting of breadcrumbs. Use remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano as necessary