Baked Rigatoni with Italian Sausage and Broccoli Rabe Print Email

2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
1 28-ounce can tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 pound spicy Italian sausage, removed from casing
1/2 pound rigatoni
1/2 bunch broccoli rabe, tough stalk removed
2 ounces mozzarella
Butter, enough to rub casserole dish
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 375F. Pour the oil into a large skillet set over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until very soft, about 5 minutes. Dump in the tomatoes and the oregano and thyme. Cook, breaking up the large pieces of tomato with a wooden spoon, for about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Roughly chop the broccoli rabe. Add to the water and cook for about 1 minute. Remove with some tongs and drain in a colander. Rinse under cold water to stop the cooking.

Return the large pot of water to a boil and add the pasta. Cook until very al dente, about 3 minutes less than the package says. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking. Set aside.

Form the Italian sausage into 1-inch balls. Saute them in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. There should be enough fat from the sausage, but if the meat sticks then add a drizzle of oil. Cook until browned on a all sides. Add to the tomato sauce.

Rub some butter on the inside of a casserole dish. Dump in the pasta and broccoli rabe. Pour on the sauce. Top with a sprinkling of the mozzarella. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling. - serves 2 to 3 -?Adapted from