Step 1: Fry the Sausage Meat
Start by boiling a full kettle of water. Heat a drizzle of oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the sausage meat and cook it for 5-6 minutes or until it’s nicely browned. Make sure to break up the meat using a spoon as it cooks. After cooking, drain any excess fat from the sausage meat. Remember to wash your hands and equipment after handling raw meat. The sausage meat is considered cooked when it’s no longer pink in the middle.
Step 2: Cook the Rigatoni
Meanwhile, take the boiled water and pour it into a large saucepan over high heat. Add the rigatoni pasta along with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and bring it back to a boil. Allow the pasta to cook until it reaches a tender consistency, which typically takes around 12 minutes. Once the pasta is cooked, drain it using a colander. After draining, place it back into the pan and drizzle a small amount of oil over it. Stir the pasta to prevent sticking.
Step 3: Build Flavour
After the sausage meat has browned, make sure to drain and discard any excess fat. Add the balsamic vinegar to the pan and allow it to evaporate for about 30 seconds. Following this, stir in the sun-dried tomato paste and let it cook for an additional 1 minute. This combination of flavours will enhance the overall taste of the dish.
Step 4: Prepare the Sauce
To the sausage meat, add the finely chopped tomatoes, chicken stock paste, sugar, and the required amount of water for the sauce (check the pantry for specific measurements). Stir all the ingredients together thoroughly. Allow the mixture to come to a boil, and once it’s boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer. Let the sauce simmer until it thickens, which typically takes about 5-6 minutes. This will result in a rich and flavourful sauce.
Step 5: Add the Spinach
When the sauce reaches the desired thickness, gradually add the spinach to the pan. Stir in the spinach a handful at a time, allowing it to wilt and heat through. This process usually takes around 2-3 minutes. Taste the sauce and season it with salt and pepper as needed, ensuring that the flavours are perfectly balanced.
Step 6: Finish and Serve
Combine the cooked rigatoni with the sausage sauce, making sure to incorporate the flavours evenly. Toss everything together until the pasta is well coated with the sauce and the ingredients are distributed throughout. Once fully combined, divide the sausage rigatoni mixture among the serving bowls, ensuring each portion has a generous amount of sauce, sausage, and vegetables.
Enjoy your delicious and flavourful sausage rigatoni dish, created with a careful blend of textures and tastes!