I’m no nonna, but here are the things that I think really matter: Brown the sausage well, be nice to the mushrooms, don't overcook the pasta, and season as you go. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 4 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Pound hot Italian pork sausage, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 6 Ounce black trumpet mushrooms
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 Onion, diced finely
  • 3 Carrots, diced finely
  • 3 Stalks celery, diced finely
  • 5 Cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 Bunch Tuscan kale, chiffonade
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 Pound rigatoni
  • 1 Tablespoon thyme, minced
  • 1/4 Cup grated pecorino romano

Preparation

Step 1:

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat in a saucepot. Add the sausage and cook until browned, about 7-8 minutes. Remove with tongs to a bowl and set aside.

Step 2:

Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to the pot and add the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook for 3-4 minutes, then remove to a bowl and set aside.

Step 3:

Add the remaining olive oil along with the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook until softened, stirring often, for 8-9 minutes.

Step 4:

Add the kale and cook until wilted, about 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Step 5:

Add the sausage back into the pot and the crushed tomatoes. Simmer for about 15 minutes.

Step 6:

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat. Season with salt until it tastes like the sea and add the pasta. Cook until al dente, according to package directions. Drain and reserve 1 cup pasta water.

Step 7:

Add the mushrooms and thyme to the sauce, stir, and toss with the pasta. Add up to 1 cup of the reserved pasta water to thicken the sauce, if needed. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve with grated pecorino romano.