This quick and easy pasta recipe is perfect for busy weeknights! Delicious rigatoni pasta, a quick spicy Italian Sausage and tomato sauce, and some fresh arugula give this pasta a fun twist on the classic tomato sauce.
UGHHHHHH THIS PASTA. I can’t stop eating it.
I genuinely do love all the recipes I share here (otherwise I wouldn’t share them with you, duh).
But every one in awhile, a real, true, HUMDINGER of a recipe comes along that makes me seriously question how I made it this long in life without it. Like this pizza. Or THIS pizza. Or this soup! Or this other soup!
Or, more to the point, this One Pot Spicy Tomato Pasta.
That you can totally make in about 30 minutes.
We are just getting back into the swing of things after the holidays here, and in between doing things like
binge watching Friends on Netflix cleaning and working and being a grownup, we somehow forgot to ease ourselves back into a real, non-holiday sleep schedule.
So going back to work on Monday was a little…rough. Which means that by the end of the day, all I know is that I’m tired and I’m hungry and I don’t know what I want to eat but I DO know I don’t want to work hard for it and I want to eat lots of whatever it is.
You know? Yeah. You know.
This pasta is so easy! And so quick! And it only takes one pot!
Well…I guess it TECHNICALLY takes one pot + one colander + one knife + one cutting board + one spoon + whatever plates you eat off of because you’re probably more sophisticated than I who eats it directly out of the pot because PSH DISHES. But that doesn’t have a very nice ring to it.
Plus, if you prep everything for the tomato sauce while the pasta is cooking, you can have this whole dish on the table in about half an hour (the words “bomb diggity” come to mind). And then you can be like “THIS IS DELICIOUS AND TOOK BARELY ANY POTS OR TIME AND I AM THE DINNER CHAMPION.”
Because I know you totally do that. We’re the same, you and I.
But about this pasta. It’s a delightful departure from a regular ol’ marinara sauce.
It gets a real kick from red pepper flakes and hot Italian sausage, but it’s still unmistakably tomato-y.
Tossing in fresh chopped arugula once the sauce is done adds another layer of peppery goodness but also lends freshness. You can even top the pasta with another handful of fresh arugula to add a nice, bright bite:
- 1 lb. rigatoni (or any pasta you have on hand!)
- 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- ½ large yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- ½ tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1 lb. uncooked hot Italian sausage
- ¼ cup red wine
- 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1 28-oz. can of crushed tomatoes
- 2 cups fresh arugula, chopped
- Cook pasta in a large pot of very salty water until al dente. (I like to prep all the sauce ingredients while the pasta cooks!)
- Drain cooked pasta in a colander and return the empty pot to the stove.
- Heat olive oil in the pot over medium heat until the oil shimmers.
- Add diced onion and minced garlic to oil and give it a stir. Let the onions cook until they are translucent and caramelize a bit, about 6 minutes.
- Add salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to pot and stir to incorporate.
- Add hot Italian sausage to pot and break it up into clumps with a wooden spoon as it cooks.
- Cook until the sausage is cooked through, about 8 minutes.
- Add red wine to pot to deglaze. Scrape any drippings off the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Don't neglect the drippings - there's a ton of flavor in there!
- Add balsamic vinegar and crushed tomatoes to sauce and stir to combine. Bring sauce to a simmer.
- Stir chopped arugula into sauce and remove sauce from heat. Give it a taste and add seasoning as necessary. Don't be afraid to use salt - it really cuts the taste of the tomato and brings out the flavor of the sauce!
- Return the drained pasta to the pot and stir until sauce evenly coats the pasta. Serve immediately.
Top pasta with a handful of fresh arugula for a fun garnish.
Alternatively, place pasta in an oven-safe dish (if you use a dutch oven like the Le Creuset pictured here for the whole thing, you don't even have to dirty another dish!), top with shredded mozzarella, and bake until the cheese melts for a delicious pasta bake! I topped the fresh-made pasta with fresh arugula, but when we ate the leftovers I topped the pasta with mozzarella and baked it. Both serving options were very good decisions.