One-pot Rigatoni & Italian Sausage

Does anybody remember the milk calendar?  Did you even get one where you lived  When I was growing up, the Toronto Star would include on in their paper annually, published by (I’m guessing) the Dairy Board? Is there even such a thing? There must be.  Anyway, the calendar came (I think) the first week of January every year.  While none of the recipes in the calendar were game changers, there are some that we still use to this day.

This is one of them.  I don’t know if I copied the recipe out exactly because it’s hand-written in cursive on a bright pink piece of paper.  I miss the days of nice hand-writing.  These days I’m happy if someone writes “you” instead of ‘u’.

I used to make this A LOT.  It was so comforting and had the kinds of things in it that I always loved: Italian sausage, pasta, cheese.  And the fact that it was made in one pot only made it better.  I am pretty sure that one of my girlfriends re-considered marrying her husband because he was lactose intolerant and she couldn’t dream of not eating this anymore.  But being the good wife she is, made it for herself when he wasn’t home instead of sending his stomach into disarray.

I know that a lot of people won’t be eating this because it seems like everybody is allergic to milk these days.  But for those of you who aren’t, try it, it’s so creamy and comforting, I promise you’ll love it.


  • 1 lb Italian sausage, crumbled
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 TAB cornstarch
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes, with their juices
  • 1/2 lb rigatoni or penne
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated


Heat a large pot to medium-high heat.  Put sausage in pot and cook until browned.  Add onion, garlic, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes and cook until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes more.  Add cornstarch and stir one minute.  Add milk, stir to combine.  When mixture comes to a boil and thickens, addd canned tomatoes and pasta.  Return to a boil and cook until pasta is tender.   Stir regularly to ensure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of your pot.   (You may need more liquid depending on the type of noodle you choose, keep some tomato sauce or milk handy).  Stir in mozzarella and serve.


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