Drunken Tomato-Basil Rigatoni by Mom De Cuisine

A rich and saucy one pot pasta dish ready in 30 minutes.

What if a new year isn’t about new beginnings? In my life as a Navy wife, my kids’ as Navy brats, and my husband as a Naval officer, new beginnings rarely come in the form of a New year. Rather, new beginnings and major changes are directly related to a new move, a new job, new friends, new house in this ever fluctuating lifestyle.

This year, welcoming a new year welcomes the end. The last time we will ring in the New Year in Spain and our last year over seas. But life isn’t just measured in beginnings and endings; starting lines and finished races. Life is what happens in-between markers–what we make of our day-to-day.

My husband has taught me many things, but the most important being to always live in the moment, be the best you can be, and love all that is important with all that you have. And that is the way we spend most in-between-in the moments, being the best we can, with all that we have.

With that mantra, rather than lamenting a new beginning, celebrating an ending, we have resolved to continue to live each moment to its fullest. Loving even the hard parts. Drinking it all in as a pound of rigatoni does rich sauce making life soul satisfying.

A few months ago, my husband and I were talking to a couple who didn’t have children. We mentioned that we almost never make it to midnight anymore on New Years Eve. Incredulously they wondered why not, why not make the effort on what is supposed to be the most magical night of the year. Simple. The most magical night of the year actually isn’t at the stroke of midnight, it’s a few hours later in the morning. At five a.m., when our children wake up, creep into our room and gently nudge us, bringing us back to the realist reality. Breakfast.

So cheers. Cheers to drinking up all that life has to offer, at the end of a journey, at the beginning of a new year, and always at five am.

Drunken Tomato-Basil Rigatoni Recipe

Serves 4-5
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 30 minutes
Total time 35 minutes
Meal type Lunch, Main Dish
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable, Gourmet, Serve Hot
Occasion Birthday Party, Casual Party, Formal Party, Halloween, Valentines day

Drunken Tomato-Basil Rigatoni

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 tablespoon Unsalted Butter
  • 1 Large Onion (chopped)
  • 3 cloves Garlic (chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 2 tablespoons Dried Basil
  • 1/2 cup Dry Red Wine
  • 28fl oz Canned Tomato Sauce
  • 2 cups Beef Stock
  • 2 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2lb Dried Rigatoni
  • 2 tablespoons Freshly Grated Parmesan (plus more to serve)
  • 2 tablespoons Fresh Basil (chopped)
  • Salt/Pepper (to taste)

Optional

1lb Lean Ground Beef
1 tablespoon Red Pepper Flakes

Directions

Brown Aromatics
Step 1
In a heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven, heat oil and butter over medium-high heat. Sauté onions 3-4 minutes, or until they soften. Add garlic and sauté one minute more.
Brown Beef
Step 2
Add the ground beef and break up with a wooden spoon. Cook until browned and slightly crispy
Drunken Tomato-Basil Sauce
Step 3
Add the dried basil, tomato paste, and red pepper flakes, if using. Cook 1-2 minutes or until fragrant.
Step 4
Add red wine, tomato sauce, beef stock and balsamic vinegar.
Step 5
Bring sauce to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
Drunken Tomato-Basil Rigatoni
Step 6
Add the rigatoni, and cover with a tight fitting lid. Cook over medium-low heat for 7-8 minutes or until the rigatoni is al dente.
Step 7
Stir in the parmesan cheese until melted. Adjust salt and pepper. Fold in fresh basil.
To Serve
Step 8
Serve with additional parmesan if desired.

Note

Pasta can be frozen for up to three months. To reheat, add a bit of stock and simmer on medium heat until heated through.