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Calabrian Cast Iron Skillet Sausage Vesuvio with Rigatoni

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calabrian sausage vesuvio


Now I’ve went and done it! The food police should be arriving at my door any minute! Hide the pasta box, quick! You can’t mix potatoes with pasta!!! Oh, no!!! The horror!! 

For cryin’ out loud, who made that a law?? NEVER one to follow silly “food rules”, I mean go figure, my favorite breakfast is salad and I prefer breakfast food for supper! I sure wasn’t going to let a faux food pas like mixing potatoes and pasta stop me for one second.  

Because I like to live on the edge like that you see. That’s how I roll my biscuits. 😉  

So how did it taste you’re wondering? It wasn’t “weird”, and everything blended and married together nicely??

Why, yes, yes it did. 😉 WONDERFULLY in fact. Like flannel jammies and a good book, hot chocolate and marshmallows, and warm mittens on a bitter, cold day! I had a half of a box of pasta to use and a few red potatoes, and I am SO GLAD that I threw the “food mixology rule book” out the back door!

I remember when chefs said that seafood and cheese was NEVER to be mixed. Had they never had a tuna melt? Tried a lobster mac ‘n cheese, lately?

That’s exactly why I don’t hold rules in high regards.

If we only followed the rules, imagination would be stifled.

Snuffed like a plain wax candle.

We can do whatever we want to, says me! 😉 😀   


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The sausage was browned in a dab of hot oil and the rest of the ingredients were added and shimmied around so that everything fit in the hot tub and the fun could begin! 

The entire house is smelling wonderful!!!!


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Simmered down to a richly thick nectar of the tomato gods, and ladled over al dente rigatoni…and lookin’ pretty darned sexy!!  


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Extra rigatoni noodles added to the skillet of cut-up sausage all ready to go for leftovers tomorrow! 😉  


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We LOVED my easy, (almost) one-pan skillet meal so much that I’m going to again experiment with other delightful goodies that they say you should never mix with pasta like…wait! Not going to give out ALL of my secrets! 😉 You’ll all just have to wait and see. 😉    

But this I know for sure, is that your family will LOVE this dish! It’s simple-simon to make and all in one pan except for the small pot I boiled the pasta in. (I don’t count an extra like that, because it’s just too easy!)

But I suppose that if I used a smaller pasta such as “shell”, I might be able to cook it with the sauce to make a truly all-in-one-pan dish! I’ll have to experiment with that further and let you know! 😉   

But I think my dear sweet hubby was a very happy camper, what do you think?! 😀  


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4-5 Servings


1 cup water

2 tsp. Superior Touch Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base

1 tsp. minced garlic

1 (16 oz.) pkg. of your favorite sausage in link or coil form, I’ve made this several times now and any works well (regular pork or lower-fat chicken blends)

1/2 – 1 Tbl. olive oil

1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce, I prefer Hunt’s

1 (14.5 oz.) can Hunt’s Fire-Roasted Diced Garlic Tomatoes

1 very large or 2 medium-sized regular red potatoes, unpeeled and cut into bite-sized pieces

1 medium-sized sweet onion

1 large shallot

1/4 tsp. coarse ground black pepper

1/2 tsp. oregano

1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning

1 bay leaf

1 (14.5 oz.) can green beans, drained, (*or garden fresh by all means if you are privy to them! they will have plenty of time to cook) 

1 tsp. small salted capers (or can sub jarred), rinsed and drained, optional (*add to taste)

1/2 of a 16 oz. box rigatoni, I prefer Barilla’s

fresh shaved pecorino romano cheese

fresh minced parsley



In microwave-safe glass measuring pitcher, add water, chicken base and garlic and heat just to boiling. Remove, stir to dissolve chicken base, and set by stove.

In cast iron skillet, (or heavy-bottomed deep frying pan), add oil and heat over high to medium-high heat to get nice and hot.  Add sausage(s) and fry each side until lightly browned, turning as needed. (Right about 5 minutes is all.) Turn heat to medium-low.

Add next 10 ingredients tucking everything in nicely so that everything can cook in the sauce. Bring to a simmer and then gently simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour until veggies are very tender. Stir every now and then just getting underneath to make sure nothing is sticking and to redistribute sauce and herbs evenly.  Mixture will become nice and rich and thick. Stir in capers if desired, cover, and remove from heat.

When meat/veggie sauce is getting close to being done, heat a small pot of water to boiling with 1/2 Tbl. kosher salt and cook rigatoni just until al dente, drain.

Serve at the table right from the skillet topped with shaved pecorino romano cheese and fresh minced parsley for a nice presentation and ladle over the rigatoni pasta.


*My husband doesn’t care very much for peppers, so I use green beans in my recipe which works out perfectly. But, if you’d prefer, you can use 1-2 bell peppers instead of green beans. Artichoke hearts are also lovely in this if beans or peppers are not wanted. Add rinsed and drained coarsely chopped or quartered jarred artichoke hearts 5 minutes before sauce is done just to basically heat through is all.   

Serve with tossed salad, some crusty bread or rolls and you’re all set. 😉  


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Monday 3rd of February 2014

Aww, thank you very much Rose Mary! I had a lot of fun creating this, and my hubby is such a good sport to pose for the photo!! I know his arms were getting tired! LOL! He, too, is my biggest fan!! :D

Rose Mary Mogan

Monday 3rd of February 2014

Kelly that dish really does look amazing. I just made Rigatoni about a week or so ago, and it too was very good. Yours makes me want to jump into the computer screen and make myself a plate. Smile Great job as usual. Your hubby is a very lucky guy. Thanks for sharing. Like you, my husband is my biggest fan.