• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 to 8 Italian sausage links
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried red crushed pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup Duplin Red Hatteras muscadine wine or your favorite sweet red wine
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil or 1 tablespoon Garden Gourmet basil
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (or evaporated milk if you are watching your figure--which I probably should be)
  • 1 pound rigatoni, boiled in salted water
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese garnish, optional

Holy Moley Cannoli! This was d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s! What an extraordinary color as well. I heard lots of ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’! Boy, was this pasta dish super flavorful! How bad can a creamy tomato basil sauce with Italian sausage and my favorite pasta –rigatoni be? I love how rigatoni hugs whatever I adorn it with. It’s the most sweetest, welcoming and warm pasta ever. As soon as I introduce it to any sauce  it opens its’ arms as if to say ‘come in’. I’m happy to see you. Let me give you a big hug! Let’s be friends.

In a large saucepan pan, heat olive oil. Squeeze out sausage from casings. Your sausage will resemble little meatballs. Who doesn’t adore meatballs?

Brown sausage in olive oil. Add onions and garlic and cook until translucent. You can remove extra fat if you like, but I admit it– we do not. Hey! It’s not that much and it’s full of flavor! But…you can if it makes you feel better.

Add sweet wine and reduce by half. Now add your crushed tomatoes, basil and salt. Simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes over low heat. Add the cream at the last minute. Adorn your cooked rigatoni and toss. Open wide and enjoy! Oh and you can grate some fresh Parmesan on top.