When you want a classic and flavorful ‘gravy’ you consult an expert. Ballo Italian, located within the Mohegan Sun Casino, hits the nail on the head for an indulgent Italian meal combined with flawless service. With the inspiration of San Galeano – a Gothic abbey built in the 12th century located in the hills of Tuscany, Ballo sets the ambience for an extravagant evening to taste and (worship) the creations and classic dishes of Executive Chef Shaun Golan.
After being inspired by a true culinary experience, I was able to bring home a classic recipe to share. Pour a glass of White and simmer away to the perfect pasta dish with Ballo’s Rigatoni with Spicy Ragu recipe. Salute!
- High quality dried Rigatoni Pasta
- 1 T olive oil
- 3 spicy Italian sausage, out of the casing
- 12 cloves of garlic, sliced thin
- 2 T tomato paste
- 1 cup white wine
- 2 Large cans (28oz) whole peeled tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
- Large pinch dried oregano, to taste
- Large pinch chilli flakes, to taste
- To serve:
- 3T butter, diced
- ¼ grated pecorino cheese
- 2T chopped parsley
- In a heavy bottomed pan, heat the olive oil, and begin to brown the sausage, breaking it up as you go.Take your time, and really allow it to brown, you may need to do this in stages.
- Add the garlic, and cook for another 2-4 minutes until the garlic is cooked through but not burning.
- Add the tomato paste, cook for a minute or 2 longer.
- Pour in the white wine, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. A wooden spoon works best for this. Allow it to cook down until almost dry.
- Pour the tomatoes into a bowl, and break up by hand.
- Add to the sausage, bring to a bare simmer, and slowly cook for 1.5 hrs, or until reduced by ⅓. Do not be tempted to skim the fat, it will give it a great flavor!
- Add a large pinch of oregano, and a smaller one of chili flakes.
- Stir and allow to sit for 15 minutes before tasting and deciding if you need more.
- Cook the pasta until quite al dente, usually about 3 minutes short of the time it says on the box. Drain and reserve some of the pasta water.
- Add the rigatoni to the sausage ragu, along with 1 cup of the pasta water, and the butter. Cook together for 2-4 minutes, and toss in the pecorino and parsley at the end.
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