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Mezzi Rigatoni Pasta with Corn and Spicy Sausage

Giada De Laurentiis' Mezzi Rigatoni with Corn and Spicy Sausage
Giada De Laurentiis' Mezzi Rigatoni with Corn and Spicy SausageNathan Congleton / TODAY
Cook Time:
10 mins
Prep Time:
2 mins

Chef notes

This is a super quick and easy weeknight meal that the whole family loves. I sometimes leave out the chili paste for my daughter, but she loves the sweetness of the corn with the creamy sauce and sausage.

Technique tip: By grating the Parmesan directly on the pasta, you create a glue to help the mascarpone sauce stick to the pasta.

Swap options: You can swap sweet Italian for spicy sausage and Pecorino cheese for Parmigiano.


  • 1 pound mezzi rigatoni pasta
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 pound spicy Italian sausage (about 4 links), casings removed
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 2 cups frozen corn, thawed
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 ounces mascarpone, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon Calabrian chili paste
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves, chopped



Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions or until al dente. Drain well, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water.


Meanwhile, heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and spicy sausage and cook for about 5 minutes, breaking up the sausage with a wooden spoon to form bite-sized pieces. Add the shallots and cook for another minute. Stir in the corn and salt and cook an additional 2 minutes, stirring often, until the corn is warmed through. Place the corn mixture in a large bowl.


To the bowl, add the mascarpone, chili paste, hot pasta and pasta water. Add the Parmesan directly to the top of the untossed, hot pasta. Using a large serving spoon, mix together the corn mixture and Parmesan-coated pasta. Add the basil and toss again. Serve with additional Parmesan if desired.