Photojournalist Mike D’Angelo joins WGN Weekend Morning News in studio to share his recipe for Rigatoni Pasta with Easy Pan Sauce.
- 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
- 2 tsp. Kosher salt, 2 tbsp water
- .5 tsp black pepper
- Pinch of sugar
- 5 fresh basil leaves
- 2 tbsp. oil for cooking plus more for finishing
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/3 cup Parmesan or Pecorina Romano cheese, more for serving
- 1 lb. dried Rigatoni pasta
- Fill a pot with 4 quarts of water and boil on medium to high heat.
- While water boils, heat oil on medium to low heat for two minutes.
- Roughly chop garlic while oil heats, then add to oil.
- Lightly sauté garlic until soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Don’t let it brown too fast.
- Once garlic softens, add tomatoes, salt, pepper, sugar and basil. Lightly tear basil to expose more of their flavor.
- Carefully stir all ingredients together.
- Cook for 5 minutes then reduce heat to low.
- Cover and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Once water boils, add about 2 tbsp. of salt to water and lightly stir.
- Adding salt seasons the pasta via the water.
- Add Rigatoni and cook about 8 to 11 minutes, depending on box directions.
- After about 5 to 7 minutes, use a strainer and scoop out one piece. There should be a slight chew and crunch with a thin white ring inside.
- Stay at this tasting technique a few more times until the consistency is achieved. Drain pasta and save cup of water.
- This is starchy, salty, flavorful stuff that will help thin the sauce or give a boost to leftovers. Add strained pasta back to pot.
- Do not rinse pasta, it will remove flavor and texture.
- Stir sauce and taste for flavor, ladle sauce over pasta. Lightly stir without breaking Rigatoni. Sprinkle half of cheese and stir to incorporate. Drizzle olive oil on top for flavor.