Rigatoni d, also known as pasta with sausage or macaroni alla carbonara, is a delicious Italian comfort food that can easily be prepared in less than one hour.
Rigatoni d is typically served by itself but it can also be paired with other dishes like meatballs.
What Is Rigatoni D?
Rigatoni d is a traditional dish from Italy that has many variations across different regions of the country.
The main ingredient of this pasta dish is cooked egg noodles (rigatoni) topped with a creamy sauce containing shredded pork, Parmesan cheese, and plenty of black pepper.
This dish originated in Naples, Italy where it was originally called “maccheroni al ragù di maiale” which translates into “pasta with pig-meat sauce.”
There are several popular recipes of rigatoni d including the following:
- Classic Rigatoni D Recipe – A very basic version of the dish includes only three primary ingredients: spaghetti, eggs, and bacon bits. In addition to these essentials, you will need some extra seasonings such as salt, garlic powder, white pepper, oregano, basil, and parsley flakes.
- Cheesy Rigatoni D – Some people prefer to add more flavor to their pasta dish using cream cheese instead of just parmesan cheese. This option adds additional richness to the sauce while still maintaining its original taste. Other optional ingredients include chopped green onion, fresh thyme, and fresh rosemary.
- Pork Chop Rigatoni D – This variation on the classic rigatoni d includes diced pork chops and sautéed red bell peppers. You can use either boneless or bone-in pork chops depending on your preference.
- Sausage Rigatoni D – Instead of regular bacon bits, you can substitute with hot dog rolls or kielbasa links. Just remember to cook them first so they don’t burn up when added to the sauce!
- Chicken Rigatoni D – If you’re looking for something lighter then chicken is always a good choice. You can make this recipe without any poultry at all if you want to keep the calories low and stick with vegetables instead.
For most people who have never had rigatoni d before, the best way to start eating this tasty dish is by trying out the Classic Rigatoni D recipe below.
Once you get used to it, you may decide to try out another variation listed above.
What Are The Ingredients In Rigatoni D?
To create this tasty dish, there are only three basic ingredients needed: pasta, bacon, and cream cheese.
There are many variations of this dish so feel free to experiment with different sauces and toppings.
The key components are these three items, which are listed below along with their quantities.
- Pasta – 1 pound (454 grams)
- Bacon – 4 slices (about 8 ounces/227 grams)
- Cream Cheese – 2 tablespoons (28 grams)
- Parmesan Cheese – 3 tablespoons (42 grams)
- Garlic Powder – ½ teaspoon (1 gram)
- Salt & Pepper – ¼ cup (50 milliliters)
- Onion – 1 small onion, chopped (4 grams)
- Butter – A few pats (8 grams)
- Milk – 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters)
- Eggs – 6 large eggs plus 1 yolk (184 grams total)
- Black pepper – ½ teaspoon (3 grams)
- Worcestershire Sauce – 1 tablespoon (20 milliliters)
- Sugar – ½ teaspoon (6 grams)
- Olive Oil – 1 tablespoon (14 milliliters)
- Shredded Parmesan Cheese – About ½ cup (59 grams)
- Dried Basil – Small handful (16 grams)
- Red Onion – Thinly sliced red onions (5 grams)
- Parsley – Chopped parsley leaves (10 grams)
- Chili Peppers – Finely diced chili peppers (7 grams)
- Lemon Juice – 2 teaspoons (12 milliliters)
- Flour – For dusting your work surface (optional)
- Extra virgin olive oil – To drizzle on top (optional)
How Do You Make Rigatoni D?
To prepare this easy pasta dish, you will need:
- 1 pound fresh rigatoni pasta (or any short pasta)
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 4 ounces crumbled pancetta
- 8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
- 7 ounces grated parmesan cheese
- Salt & pepper to taste
What Is The History Of Rigatoni D?
The exact origin of this pasta dish has been debated amongst historians since its creation.
Some believe it was created during World War II when soldiers were stationed at bases around Italy.
Others state that the dish originated in Rome where it was originally called pasta con la salsiccia (pasta with sausage).
However, the most common theory holds that it was invented in Milan, Italy.
There are several versions of rigatoni d recipes which vary slightly from region to region.
In general, they involve sausages such as salami, pancetta, mortadella, chorizo, and even pepperoni.
The sauce includes eggs, butter, cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, garlic, fresh parsley, and black pepper among others.
In addition to the ingredients listed above, there are many variations on the original recipe.
One notable example involves using ground beef instead of pork.
Another version uses ricotta instead of cream cheese while another replaces the egg yolks with whole milk.
There are also numerous different types of pasta shapes used in these recipes including penne, fettuccine, ziti, rotini, and farfalle.
What Are Some Popular Ways To Serve Rigatoni D?
You will find recipes that call for different types of ingredients when preparing this traditional dish.
You may see rigatoni d recipes calling for bacon, pancetta, prosciutto, or even ham hocks.
A few recipes may include cream cheese or even ricotta cheese which adds another layer of flavor complexity to this classic dish.
The most common way to make rigatoni d is simply to cook up your favorite sauce (like bolognese) and add the cooked pasta.
However, you might want to try out these alternative ways to prepare this hearty dish.
1. Make a creamy version of rigatoni d
If you don’t feel like cooking up a rich sauce but still want to have a comforting meal on hand, you could always opt to make a creamy rigatoni d.
To do so, start by sauteing onion and garlic until they become translucent before adding ground beef into the pan.
Cook over medium heat until everything becomes browned.
Next, deglaze the pan using a splash of red wine and let boil off any excess liquid.
Once the mixture has reduced down, pour in heavy whipping cream and mix well.
Add Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, oregano, basil, and fresh parsley.
Mix thoroughly then transfer the entire contents of the pan onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Allow the rigatoni d to cool completely before serving.
This recipe calls for about 1/4 cup of olive oil, but if you prefer something more leaner, you could use half the amount of oil called for here.
2. Make a quick rigatoni d salad
A quick rigatoni d salad is a great healthy option for people who don’t eat much pasta at home.
All you need to do is combine chopped tomatoes, cucumber, and shredded mozzarella cheese along with a little bit of freshly minced garlic and black pepper.
Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
3. Use a ready-made rigatoni d sauce
There are plenty of brands available online that offer pre-cooked sauces that are ready to go.
Some examples include Trader Joe’s, Amy’s Kitchen, and Fresh Market.
These products are convenient because they come premade, canned, or jarred in a pouch that only requires boiling water to get them going.
If you just need a small portion of rigatoni d for yourself, you can purchase individual portions from these companies instead of buying a large container of their product to fill the whole pot.
What Are Some Tips For Making The Perfect Rigatoni D?
This pasta is best when made fresh so use freshest quality ingredients possible.
The key here is not overcooking the pasta which will result in tough noodles.
You want your pasta al dente (cooked through) but still firm enough to hold its shape without falling apart.
To test if your noodles are cooked, take a fork and press down on them gently – they should give slightly and have a little resistance before being released from the fork.
If your pasta isn’t done cooking, add more water and cook until tender.
You may notice that rigatoni d tends to stick together during cooking.
It is normal to see strands of pasta sticking together while cooking and this means the pasta isn’t overdone.
While this doesn’t affect the taste, it does make cleanup easier since there won’t be any stray pieces of pasta stuck to the bottom of the pot.
Be careful not to over-mix the sauce after adding the cheese though because mixing too much could cause the cheese to separate out into clumps and turn gummy.
The secret to getting rid of excess grease in rigatoni d is to drain off most of the fat using a colander over medium heat.
Once drained, rinse the pasta well and set aside.
Next, saute the onion and garlic in the butter until softened.
Add the flour and stir constantly for 1 minute.
Slowly pour in the milk and whisk continuously for 2 minutes to avoid lumps forming.
Remove from the heat and let cool completely.
When cooled, combine the egg yolks and cream cheeses in a bowl and beat until smooth.
Combine the egg mixture with the remaining ingredients except the rigatoni and mix well.
Add the rigatoni to the pan and toss to coat evenly.
Heat covered over low heat until heated through, about 5 minutes.
Serve immediately topped with Parmesan cheese.
While rigatoni d is traditionally served straight from the pan, you may choose to transfer the cooked pasta to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper to help prevent the pasta from sticking together.
Place the baking sheet in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes to finish browning the top.
Alternatively, you can place the baked pasta back in the original pan and keep warm until ready to eat.
How Can You Vary The Flavors Of Rigatoni D?
The key to this dish’s flavor lies in its ingredients.
The traditional version uses pancetta (Italian bacon), which gives the dish a distinctive smoky taste.
Other versions use prosciutto instead of pancetta or even ground beef or pork loin.
You can choose any combination of meats that works well with your palate.
Another important ingredient is cheese.
Traditionally, the dish calls for Parmesan cheese but you could substitute mozzarella or another hard cheese if you want something more unique.
You may find that using a milder cheese will give the dish a creamier consistency.
Finally, there are two main sauces used to prepare rigatoni d.
One sauce contains egg yolks and butter and is traditionally called “all’uovo” while the other sauce has only eggs and oil and is called “alla cremione”.
If you prefer not to have either of these two types of sauce on your noodles then just skip them and add salt to balance out the flavours of the rest of the foods.
What Are Some Common Mistakes People Make When Making Rigatoni D?
When preparing this traditional Italian dish, there are several things that can go wrong.
To help ensure a successful outcome, we’ve compiled a list of common pitfalls along with tips on how to avoid them so your rigatoni d turns out perfectly every time.
Overcooking the pasta
The most important step when cooking rigatoni d is ensuring that the pasta is not overcooked because over-cooked pasta will break apart during preparation.
If you cook the pasta al dente (which means “to the tooth”), then you should have no problem getting a nice bite from each strand of rigatoni once they are finished cooking.
However, if you don’t get a good bite at first attempt, simply add more water during the boiling process until the desired texture is achieved.
Using too much oil
One way to prepare this dish without using any oil is to sauté the garlic in butter before adding the tomatoes.
You could even use olive oil instead of butter.
Not draining excess liquid after rinsing rigatoni
If you haven’t drained enough liquids after washing the rigatoni, you may end up having leftover moisture left inside the pasta which makes it difficult to mix evenly into the sauce.
Simply rinse the rigatoni again and continue with the rest of steps.
Adding salt early on
This mistake can cause the pasta to become mushy and lose its shape.
Adding salt towards the end of cooking is recommended since the added salt helps bring down the temperature of the pasta.
The last thing you want to do is to boil the pasta longer than necessary!
How Can You Tell If Rigatoni D Is Cooked Properly?
The key thing to remember about cooking rigatoni is to cook the pasta until al dente (to the tooth).
When you cook the pasta, you want to make sure it’s done so that the sauce doesn’t get mushy and the rigatoni isn’t overcooked which will result in the noodles becoming gummy.
The best way to check if your pasta is cooked properly is using a fork.
If there is no resistance then it means the pasta has finished cooking.
You should always taste your pasta before serving because you don’t know how long it has been sitting on top of the stove.
There is a good chance this may have already started to stick together and turn into mush.
Once it starts sticking together it becomes difficult to remove from the pot and will not work well after being reheated again.
Another important factor to consider when determining whether or not to eat your pasta is its temperature.
Always let your pasta cool down completely before eating.
If you do not wait until it has cooled down completely, the heat inside the pasta will continue to cook it further once you take off the lid.
This will cause the pasta to become sticky and hard to handle.
What Are Some Creative Ways To Serve Rigatoni
The best thing about this dish is that there are so many different ways of serving it!
You could pair it with another protein such as chicken or shrimp, add fresh herbs, toss it in butter, or even make the sauce from scratch.
- You could try making your own homemade cream sauce (see our tips on how to make creamy sauces). This will give the dish more flavor and make it look very fancy.
- If you want something lighter, you could use light sourdough bread crumbs instead of regular breadcrumb topping. The texture will change slightly but it won’t affect the taste too much.
- Another option would be to sprinkle shredded mozzarella cheese over the top of your rigatoni before baking. If you don’t have any cheese handy, you could just skip the step altogether.
- One last way to prepare this dish is to simply pan fry it with olive oil and garlic until golden brown. Then you can finish it off with Parmesan cheese and parsley.
So whether you decide to go with the traditional method of cooking rigatoni d or do things differently, you’ll still end up with a tasty and comforting meal!
- The Oven
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 2 cups cold chicken broth
- ½ cup Chardonnay
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ tablespoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon pureed garlic
- 1 diced yellow onion
- ½ pound sliced mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 pound rigatoni
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 pound chicken breast boneless
- ¾ cup sweet Marsala wine
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons chopped basil
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven until 450 degrees and place a rimmed sheet with parchment.
- Place a parchment-lined rimmed sheet in the oven and preheat it to 450 degrees.
- On your baking sheet, combine the onions, garlic, mushrooms, and vinegar. Bake for 15 minutes. There should be no wetness on the sheet when the mushrooms acquire a deep brown color. Separate this mixture. The vegetables can be prepared a day in advance.
- As directed on the package, cook the pasta. To enhance the flavor of your pasta, salt the water you are cooking it in. Use of oil at this point is not advised, though, since it will hinder the sauce and pasta from mingling. After you have cooked and drained the pasta is the ideal time to add the olive oil (one tablespoon). Avoid overcooking your pasta to avoid destroying its structure and preventing the sauce from soaking in. similar to not pouring cold
- Chicken should be cut into thin pieces.
- In a pan, warm the butter and remaining olive oil. When the butter begins to brown and bubble, add the chicken and cook it for about five minutes. To avoid packing the skillet, you might need to cook the meat in batches.
- Chardonnay should be added and allowed to evaporate. Add your chicken broth and cornstarch mixture after adding Marsala wine and reducing it by half. Ladle it out.
- Add the vegetables you previously baked along with the heavy cream, pepper, and salt. Let it get thicker.
- Add the rigatoni and cook for about two minutes, or until the pasta is coated with sauce.
- Stir in the Parmesan, parsley, and basil after turning the stove off. The cheese not only gives your sauce flavor, but it also thickens it.
- Serve while hot.