Pork Sausage, Zucchini & Ricotta Rigatoni
The way Italians pair ingredients to create an incredibly tasty pasta dish is truly inspiring, as is their ability to keep things simple.
When we think of creating pasta at home, we often head straight for the tomatoes. Get creative and change the flavour profile by pairing the best pork sausages you can find with the lightness of zucchini and the creaminess of ricotta. The addition of lemon will only highlight these ingredients – be generous.
This is an earthy, rustic dish, simple enough to prepare mid-week, special enough to cook for others, and it’s a comforting dish that celebrates the way Italians cook. It’s not fussy, it’s quality over quantity with ingredients and, most importantly, it’s packed with flavour.
Use whatever fresh pasta takes your fancy, but I like rigatoni for the shape and texture in this particular dish.
As with all Italian cooking, go for good quality with your pasta and olive oil, and cook the pasta to al dente perfection. Toss over a few basil leaves and some grated pecorino before bringing to the table and diving straight in. This recipe serves two.
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 pork sausages, cases removed and broken into small chunks
1 large zucchini, chopped
60gm fresh ricotta
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
60gm freshly grated pecorino
Sea salt & cracked black pepper
A few fresh basil leaves
1. Bring a pot of salted water to the boil and cook the rigatoni until al dente. Drain and set aside.
2. While the pasta is cooking, heat a frying pan on medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the garlic and gently fry for 1 minute. Add the zucchini to the pan and fry for 3 minutes until softened a little and golden.
3. Add the pork sausage to the pan and toss through, cooking for 4-5 minutes until cooked through.
4. Add the pasta to the pan and toss, coating with the oil released from the sausage. Generously squeeze lemon juice and stir through the pasta.
5. Break up the ricotta into small pieces and toss through the pasta very lightly (you don’t want it to melt completely).
6. Transfer to a serving bowl immediately, add a few fresh basil leaves over the top and a generous sprinkling of pecorino and ground black pepper.
Dana Sims is a Sydney based food and prop stylist who has grown up in the Eastern Suburbs and loves to create delicious food for entertaining and family. She is inspired by the fresh produce we have access to here in Sydney. For ideas, recipes and styling inspiration, check out her Instagram @stone_and_twine.