07 April 2016

Curtis Stone's Rigatoni Simply Dressed

This is the second dish that I've made using Curtis Stone's 2009 cook book called relaxed cooking with curtis stone. I'm liking his style. There's not a lot of fuss and flash to his food.

Take this dish, for example. He has a couple little prep steps --- roast some cherry tomatoes and sauté some garlic and spicy sopressa salami slices. Boil some pasta up. Sauce up the tomatoes with some dry white wine and the garlic sauté (and some purple onion that I insisted on adding).  Chop some other high flavour ingredients and toss gently. Pour some wine and this is a beautifully simple meal that will take you right to the height of summertime ... which is just what this girl needs this evening!

The other cool thing about this recipe is that it's a snap to down size, which is just what I did this evening. SB has a dinner meeting in Manchester and I'm home alone. A wonderful plate prepared with no leftovers and I don't feel like I compromised on a good dinner because I was 'cooking for one'. Period. Peace!

Rigatoni Simply Dressed

Serves 4


20 cherry tomatoes
2 tsp. olive oil plus 1 tbsp for drizzling over the plated dishes
8 oz. spicy salami sliced kind of thin
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 c. dry white wine
1/4 c. good black olives packed in herbed oil
1/4 c. capers, drained and rinsed
1/4 c. flat leaf parsley, chopped
8 oz. dry rigatoni pasta, cooked to al dente
fresh black pepper

Making the Dish:

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place the cherry tomatoes on a rimmed cooking sheet and spritz with some olive oil and salt and black pepper. Roast for about 15 minutes ... until the skins split.
Remove and cool.

2. Put a big pasta pot of salted water on to boil.

3. Heat a fry pan and add the 2 tsp. olive oil and the salami slices. Sauté until slightly crisped at the edges. Remove to a plate and set aside.

4. Keeping the pan hot, add the garlic (and a handful of chopped purple onion, if you're a fan). Cook for a minute or two to sweat the veg and add the cherry tomatoes and the dry white wine. Simmer to make a light sauce. While the sauce simmers, cook the pasta.

5. Drain the pasta and plate it on four rimmed pasta plates. Divide the olives, capers, salami pieces, parsley, and tomato sauce. Toss gently. Drizzle the plates with a bit of olive oil. Sprinkle on black pepper and serve.

NOTE: Some would sprinkle a cheese over top this dish, but Stone (and I) urge you to go without the cheese. There are good strong flavors here that do very well without a cheese mask.

The I Heart Cooking Club is featuring Stone's food for the next six months ... should be a perfect time for me to explore his website and cook books a bit more. You can check out a sampler of his stuff by checking out the link ...


  1. I could dive into this dish. I am printing it to make in the future, looks great.

  2. Yum! I'd love to make this but substitute pepperoni for the salami and leave out the black olives.

  3. So nice to have you with us again! I always enjoy seeing what you share with us because it is always something I would pick myself. This pasta dinner was one of the most appealing recipes I found while glancing through his books. This is a simple, but well-thought out recipe with extremely flavorful add ins. I imagine it could taste different depending on the salami or olives you use, which is also part of the appeal. I will definitely be making this one, sooner rather than later.

  4. I'm liking his no-fuss approach to food as well. I agree that with the bold Mediterranean flavours in the sauce, cheese isn't needed. Looks fantastic!

  5. Something about the way you write about this dish, Curtis Stone holding a similar dish like yours and your picture, are tempting me to go into the kitchen and make this. Love it!

  6. I have some cherry tomatoes on hand and this might be a good use for them. Glad you enjoyed your meal. Sending you warm thoughts.

  7. oooh, love this dish. So warming and hearty yet very simple...hope your spring is warming up fast xx

  8. I love an easy, flavorful, and satisfying pasta dinner and this one looks like it all that. So colorful on the plate too. What a great way to welcome Curtis! ;-)

  9. Hi Susan! I love the variety of ingredients in this rigatoni dish. The tastes must be great too.

  10. Such a yummy pasta meal! I have this book too.
    About your question on how to prep squids ; here's a video showing you how to clean squid. http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/techniques/cleaning_squid

    Squids cook very fast, similar to prawns, usually about 3-5 minutes. Cook them too long, and they will become tough and rubbery. Squids are a favourite in my house, I love eating squids but do not like the prep part, which takes a little time.
    Hope the video helps!


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