Country Rigatoni

Carmine's Restaurant Recipe

Serves 6

1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons garlic, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup onion, thinly sliced
8 ounces fennel sausage, with casings removed
8 fresh basil leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped
18 ounces canned cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups grated romano cheese
salt & freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons prosciutto, thinly sliced
12 ounces rigatoni pasta
8-10 spears broccoli, each about 3 inches long

In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and cook it, stirring, for about 1 minute or until it is golden brown. Take care not to let the garlic burn. Add the onions and cook the mixture for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the onions are golden brown.

Add the sausage, basil, and parsley. Break up the sausage, using a wooden spoon or long-handled fork, and cook the mixture for 2 to 3 minutes or until the sausage is browned. Add the beans, chicken stock, and butter, raise the heat to high, and bring the sauce to a boil. Reduce the heat slightly and simmer it briskly for 5 to 8 minutes or until it starts to thicken. Stir in 1/4 cup of the grated cheese and cook the sauce for about 3 minutes or until it thickens. Season it to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the prosciutto and 1/2 cup of the cheese. Let the mixture simmer 2 minutes before removing it from the heat.

Meanwhile, in a large pot filled with boiling salted water, cook the pasta for 4 minutes. Add the broccoli and cook it for another 3 to 4 minutes or until the pasta is al dente. Drain the pasta well. Bring the sauce to a boil. Add the pasta and broccoli to the sauce and mix well. Stir in 1/4 cup of grated cheese, if desired. Serve the pasta with the remaining 1/4 cup of grated cheese passed on the side.

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