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Baked Sausage, Mozzarella & Rigatoni Pasta

with Spinach & Cucumber Salad

  • icon_cook Created with Sketch.
    Cook Time
    35-45 mins
  • icon_serves Created with Sketch.
    Servings
    4
  • icon_cals Created with Sketch.
    Nutrition
    Est. 600 calories

In this delicious recipe, we’re honoring authentic Italian flavor with ingredients like rigatoni, fresh mozzarella and sweet pork sausage. Despite its name, this style of sausage is more herbaceous than it is sweet, made with savory seasonings like sage, parsley and fennel seeds. (The name is used to distinguish it from its spicier counterparts.) Here, we’re browning the sausage before finishing it in the oven with the pasta and tomato sauce, all topped with melty mozzarella.

fresh
ingredients
Baked Sausage, Mozzarella & Rigatoni Pasta with Spinach & Cucumber Salad
Title
  • ¾ lb Italian Sausage
  • ¾ lb Rigatoni Pasta
  • 1 28-Ounce Can Whole Peeled Tomatoes
  • ½ lb Fresh Mozzarella
  • 5 oz Baby Spinach
  • 3 cloves Garlic
  • 1 English Cucumber
  • 1 Yellow Onion
  • 1 bunch Basil
  • 2 Tbsps Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tsp Dried Italian Seasoning
tried-and-true
kitchen tools
time-saving
tips & techniques
step-by-step
instructions
Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling on high. Peel and thinly slice the garlic and onion. Place the tomatoes in a bowl; using your hands, gently break the tomatoes apart. Pick the basil leaves off the stems; discard the stems. Tear the mozzarella cheese into small pieces. Thinly slice the cucumber into rounds.

Brown the sausage:
2 Brown the sausage:

In a large pot, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the sausage; season with salt and pepper. Cook, frequently breaking the meat apart with a spoon, 4 to 6 minutes, or until browned.

Make the sauce:
3 Make the sauce:

Add the garlic and onion to the pot of sausage; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until slightly softened. Stir in the tomatoes and half the Italian seasoning; season with salt and pepper. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium and simmer 6 to 8 minutes, or until slightly reduced in volume. Remove from heat.

Cook & bake the pasta:
4 Cook & bake the pasta:

While the sauce simmers, add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook 7 to 9 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Drain thoroughly and transfer to the pot of sauce. Add all but a pinch of the basil (roughly chopping the leaves just before adding). Stir to combine; season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish. Evenly top with the mozzarella cheese; season with salt and pepper. Bake 13 to 15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and lightly browned. Remove from the oven. Let stand for 2 minutes before serving.

Make the vinaigrette:
5 Make the vinaigrette:

While the pasta bakes, in a medium bowl, combine the vinegar, mustard and remaining Italian seasoning; season with salt and pepper to taste. Slowly whisk in 3 tablespoons of olive oil until well combined. Set aside.

Make the salad & serve your dish:
6 Make the salad & serve your dish:

In a large bowl, combine the spinach, cucumber and enough of the vinaigrette to coat the salad (you may have extra vinaigrette); toss to combine and season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving dish. Garnish the baked pasta with the remaining basil (tearing the leaves just before adding). Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

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Blue Apron delivers original, step-by-step recipes and fresh ingredients to customers nationwide. Our menus change every week, so with each delivery you learn to cook inventive new dishes with seasonal ingredients. By letting us source these hard-to-find ingredients for you, you'll get food that is fresher and cheaper than you can get at your local supermarket, and there's no waste because we only send you what you need for each recipe.

We named our company “Blue Apron” because chefs around the world wear blue aprons when they're learning to cook, and it has become a symbol of lifelong learning in cooking. We believe you're never done learning in the kitchen, so we design our menus to ensure you're always learning new cooking techniques, trying new cuisines, and using unique ingredients.

Blue Apron is a weekly subscription service with no commitment - you can skip a week or cancel at anytime with a week's notice, and delivery is always free. We can't wait to cook with you!

Get This Recipe Delivered
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling on high. Peel and thinly slice the garlic and onion. Place the tomatoes in a bowl; using your hands, gently break the tomatoes apart. Pick the basil leaves off the stems; discard the stems. Tear the mozzarella cheese into small pieces. Thinly slice the cucumber into rounds.

2 Brown the sausage:

In a large pot, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the sausage; season with salt and pepper. Cook, frequently breaking the meat apart with a spoon, 4 to 6 minutes, or until browned.

Brown the sausage:
Make the sauce:
3 Make the sauce:

Add the garlic and onion to the pot of sausage; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until slightly softened. Stir in the tomatoes and half the Italian seasoning; season with salt and pepper. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium and simmer 6 to 8 minutes, or until slightly reduced in volume. Remove from heat.

4 Cook & bake the pasta:

While the sauce simmers, add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook 7 to 9 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Drain thoroughly and transfer to the pot of sauce. Add all but a pinch of the basil (roughly chopping the leaves just before adding). Stir to combine; season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish. Evenly top with the mozzarella cheese; season with salt and pepper. Bake 13 to 15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and lightly browned. Remove from the oven. Let stand for 2 minutes before serving.

Cook & bake the pasta:
Make the vinaigrette:
5 Make the vinaigrette:

While the pasta bakes, in a medium bowl, combine the vinegar, mustard and remaining Italian seasoning; season with salt and pepper to taste. Slowly whisk in 3 tablespoons of olive oil until well combined. Set aside.

6 Make the salad & serve your dish:

In a large bowl, combine the spinach, cucumber and enough of the vinaigrette to coat the salad (you may have extra vinaigrette); toss to combine and season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving dish. Garnish the baked pasta with the remaining basil (tearing the leaves just before adding). Enjoy!

Make the salad & serve your dish: