Rossella Rago’s Hearty Rigatoni alla Papino

Once in a while, Rossella's Papino Vito likes to play in the kitchen and this dish, rigatoni with meat sauce, is one of his specialties.

By: Rossella Rago, Cooking with Nonna 


Serves: 4

For the Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 pound mixed ground meat (pork, veal and beef)
  • 4 leaves sage
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • Red pepper flakessalt
  • 3 ounces tomato paste
  • 1 pound rigatoni pasta


  1. Cook the Rigatoni in salted water.
  2. In a saute pan, add the EV olive oil and the chopped garlic.
  3. Let the garlic saute for a few minutes until it turns lightly golden and add the ground meat.
  4. Saute the meat by breaking it up with a wooden spoon.
  5. Add the bay leaves and the sage leaves broken by hand. Add salt and  red pepper flakes as desired.
  6. Saute the meat until it turns brown. Add the red wine.
  7. Let the alcohol evaporate for a few minutes and add the tomato paste.
  8. Turn the flame to low, add two tablespoons of pasta water and cover the saute pan.
  9. Cook for about 10 minutes. If the sauce gets dry, add some more pasta water.
  10. Once the Rigatoni are cooked to Al Dente, pour them into the sauce and toss for 1 minute until the Rigatoni are well coated with the sauce and serve.
  11. Garnish with Pecorino or Parmigiano cheese as desired.


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