Rigatoni, Broccoli Rabe, and
Sun-Dried Tomato Bake
Recipe by Tieghan Gerard, the author of Half Baked Harvest, and in partnership with Andy Boy.
1 bunch broccoli rabe, ends trimmed + roughly chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
Kosher salt + pepper
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
1 red pepper, diced
1 lb ground spicy Italian chicken sausage or regular spicy Italian sausage
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup oil packed California Sun Dry sun-dried tomatoes, drained + chopped
1 cup milk
3/4 cup red wine (or water)
2 bay leaves
1 lb rigatoni
6 oz Gorgonzola or blue cheese, crumbled
8 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, torn
3 oz pancetta, chopped (optional, but adds great flavor)
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the broccoli rabe on a large, rimmed baking sheet and toss with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast until the broccoli rabe is roasted + crisp, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from the oven.
Meanwhile, make the sauce. In a heavy bottomed pot, cook the pancetta over medium heat, stirring until the pancetta is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the onion, garlic and red pepper. Cook, stirring until the veggies are softened, about 5 minutes. Push the veggies off to the side of the pan and increase the heat to medium-high. Add 1 Tbsp of olive oil to the center of the pan and crumble in the ground sausage. Cook without stirring for 3 minutes and then begin breaking up the meat. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned, about 5 minutes. Add the oregano, basil, and thyme. Cook another minute or so.
Add the tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, milk, wine, bay leaves, and a good pinch of salt + pepper to the pot. Cook the sauce over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 30 minutes. Discard the bay leaves, taste to season with salt + pepper. Remove from the heat.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil the pasta until al dente, drain and toss with the tomato sauce + roasted broccoli rabe. Transfer the pasta to a 9×13 inch baking dish. Top with Gorgonzola and mozzarella cheese.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and gooey. Remove and let sit 5 minutes. Serve.