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Recipe: Macaroni with Sausage & Ricotta

recipe1A bit of sausage goes a long way in flavoring the creamy ricotta tomato sauce in this quick, healthy pasta recipe. Serve with a green salad and crusty Italian bread.

Serves 6

Total Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

6 tablespoons finely chopped yellow onion

6 ounces mild pork sausage, casings removed

1, 14 ounce can no-salt-added whole peeled tomatoes, chopped, with their juice

1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

1/8 teaspoon salt plus 1 tablespoon, divided

12 ounces thin tube-shaped pasta, such as pasta al ceppo

6 tablespoons part-skim

ricotta cheese

10 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Put 2 quarts of water on to boil in a large pot.

Meanwhile, combine oil, onion and sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring and crumbling the sausage with a spoon, until the onion is golden, 4 to 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, pepper and 1/8 teaspoon of salt; cook until the tomatoes have reduced and separated from the oil, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of salt to the boiling water, stir in pasta and cook according to package instructions until just tender.

Just before the pasta is done, return the sauce to medium-low heat. Add ricotta and basil, and stir until combined. When the pasta is done, drain well and toss with the sauce and Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Serve at once.

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