Bourbon Bluetick Sausage Rigatoni with Romesco & Herbed Ricotta


Serves: 4


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • Coarse salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 Bourbon Bluetick Smoked Sausages, chopped
  • 3/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil (plus several basil leaves gently torn for garnish)
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano (or substitute 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • Romesco sauce (recipe follows)
  • 1-pound rigatoni


  1. Preheat the oven to 400Β° F and spray a 2-quart baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add the shallots and garlic and season with a pinch each of salt and pepper and the red pepper flakes. SautΓ© until the shallots are translucent, about 1 minute, and then add the sausage and cook until warmed through. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the ricotta, 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan, the basil, oregano, parsley, and lemon zest. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Cook the rigatoni according to the package directions until al dente. Strain the pasta and immediately toss it with the sausage, romesco sauce, and half of the ricotta mixture.
  5. Spread the pasta into the baking dish, dollop with the remaining ricotta, and sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmesan.
  6. Bake until the ricotta is melted, about 8-10 minutes, and then broil until the top is lightly golden brown, about 1 minute. Divide the pasta among plates and garnish with the torn basil leaves.

For the Romesca Sauce

Makes Approximately 1 1/2 Cups


  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 1 medium garlic clove
  • Coarse salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup roasted red peppers
  • 1/2 cup fire roasted tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar (or substitute red wine vinegar)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/3 cup olive oil


  1. In a dry small skillet, toast the almonds over medium-low heat, tossing frequently, until lightly toasted and very fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  2. In a food processor, combine the almonds, garlic, and a pinch each of salt and pepper and pulse a few times until the nuts are broken down. Add the red peppers, roasted tomatoes, vinegar, and paprika. Pulse until the mixture is thoroughly combined.
  3. With the motor running, slowly stream in several tablespoons of the olive oil. Keep pouring until the mixture is smooth but still has some texture to it. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


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