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
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.