Recipe: Rigatoni with Spicy Sausage and Cannellini Beans

For our holiday entertaining guide, Chef Barbara Lynch shares six recipes for a festive spread. Here's how to make a rigatoni dish.

barbara lynch rigatoni recipe

Photograph by Pat Piasecki

Rigatoni with Spicy Sausage and Cannellini Beans

Adapted from Stir: Mixing It Up in the Italian Tradition

Serves 6 to 8

  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 large Spanish onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 lb. hot Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 c. dry red wine
  • 1 28-ounce can peeled, chopped Italian tomatoes or similarly sized box of chopped Pomi brand tomatoes
  • ½ tsp. crushed red pepper (more to taste)
  • 1 lb. dried rigatoni
  • 1 19-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ c. freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving
  • 2 tbsp. coarsely chopped fresh basil, plus more for serving
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant and lightly golden. Add the onion and sausage and cook, breaking the sausage up with a wooden spoon, until the sausage is no longer pink, about five minutes. Add the wine, increase the heat to high, and cook until the wine is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, their liquid, and the crushed red pepper. Season with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the mixture thickens slightly and develops flavor, about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add the rigatoni and cook until al dente. Reserve ½ cup of the pasta water before draining the pasta. Add the rigatoni to the pan with the sauce and stir to coat it. Add the beans, Parmigiano, basil, and butter and stir gently. Cook until the beans are heated through, about three minutes. If the pasta looks dry, add some of the reserved pasta-cooking water. Garnish with additional cheese and basil.


Check out all six Barbara Lynch recipes in our holiday entertaining guide, “A Chef’s Holiday.”