- 1 pound fatty ground pork
- 1¾ teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ cup ice water
- ¼ pound market cherry tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 pound fresh (from Raduno) rigatoni, or a high-quality dry rigatoni
- 2–3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ pound loose Toulouse sausage (you made a pound, so you have extra!)
- ¼ pound roasted tomatoes
- ½ fresh Fresno chili, seeds and veins removed, minced
- small handful of basil, torn
For the sausage
Using your hands, mix all ingredients together until they become so sticky that when you form a patty in—your palm and turn it over, the patty still sticks to your hand. Work quickly to mix so the sausage doesn’t get warm. Refrigerate until ready to use.
For the cherry tomatoes
Preheat oven to 400°. Heat a small pan on the stove over medium-high heat and add oil until it begins to shimmer. Add tomatoes and cook until they blister a bit. Spread out on a sheet pan and roast in oven for about 20 minutes, until they start breaking down. Remove from oven and set aside.
For the pasta
In a large stockpot, bring 6 quarts of water to a boil. Salt the water until it tastes like the sea. While the water is coming to a boil, heat olive oil over medium heat in a large heavy-bottomed pan. Brown sausage, breaking it up into chickpea-sized bits with a wooden spoon or spatula, until cooked through and no longer pink. Add the roasted tomatoes and chilies and let the tomatoes simmer a bit on very low heat with the sausage. If the pan is too dry, add a bit of water from pasta pot. When the pasta water is ready, add pasta and gently stir. Boil for 2 minutes for fresh pasta (or according to package directions for dried pasta), then immediately ladle 1 cup of pasta water into tomato/sausage mixture. Drain pasta, but do not rinse. Turn tomato/sausage mixture back up to medium heat and add drained pasta. Cook for another minute, toss in the torn basil and a bit of olive oil, and serve.