five-cheese extravaganza with sausage and some chilies to balance the cheesy richness. Serve a small portion as an appetizer before a light main course, or make it the centrepiece of dinner.
Servings: 6 to 8
- 12 oz (375 g) rigatoni
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 mild Italian sausages, meat removed from casings (14 oz or 400 g)
- ½ tsp chili flakes
- ½ cup white wine
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 1 cup milk
- 8 oz (250 g) ricotta
- 1 4-oz (125 g) ball buffalo mozzarella, sliced
- 8 oz (250 g) grated fontina
- 4 oz (125 g) grated ricotta salata
- 1 cup green peas, defrosted if frozen
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add rigatoni and cook for 6 to 8 minutes or until pasta is slightly undercooked (it will continue to cook as it bakes). Drain and reserve, reserving 1 cup cooking water separately.
Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Crumble in sausage meat and cook, breaking up with a fork, until it loses its pinkness, 4 to 5 minutes. Add chili flakes and cook for 1 more minute. Add wine and bring to boil. Boil until wine is reduced by half, about 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in reserved cooking water. Return to a boil then remove from heat.
Transfer contents of skillet to a bowl and allow to cool. Stir in cream, milk, ricotta, buffalo mozzarella, fontina, ricotta salata and green peas. Stir in pasta. Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper as needed.
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Butter a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Pour pasta mixture into dish and dot with butter. Cover with foil. Bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes longer or until mixture is bubbling and cheese is golden on top.