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Ricotta-Topped Rigatoni with Tomato, Sausage, and Kale Sauce


I have a new love: Jersey Farms Crushed Tomatoes.

I can eat them straight out of the can. Seriously. They just taste so rich and, well, tomatoey.

All of the tomatoes come from just 6 cooperative farms in New Jersey. Once picked, they are canned within 24 hours with no added water or preservatives, only a little salt. The crushed tomatoes are thick, but not too thick. They are perfect. Just perfect. You almost don’t need any seasoning at all. You practically don’t even need to cook them.

But if you do cook with them, whoa golly, are you in for a treat. These tomatoes make the best pizza sauce. The best anything, really.

Using some mild beef sausage from my CSA, I made a quick sauce with just garlic, olive oil, and some extra kale I had in the fridge. After rolling some al dente rigatoni in it for a couple of minutes, I topped everything with a sloppy spoonful of creamy, locally-made ricotta. A little drizzle of olive oil to add an extra bit of luster.

And I tell you, it was delicious.

Ingredients:

2 cloves of garlic, finely minced

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 pound mild Italian beef sausage, casings removed

Red pepper flakes to taste

1 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes (preferably Jersey Farms Crushed Tomatoes)

2 cups of kale, chopped with the ribs removed

Salt and pepper

1 pound of rigatoni

Whole milk ricotta cheese

More olive oil for drizzling

How to prepare:

1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large casserole, or Dutch oven. When the oil begins to shimmer, sauté the garlic in it until it is fragrant. The garlic should just begin to have a little bit of color, but not too much. Crumble the sausage into the oil, and cook it until it is evenly browned (be sure to break up larger pieces of sausage with the edge of your spoon as you cook). Add as many red pepper flakes as you like. Toss the red pepper flakes with the browned sausage for about a minute before adding the tomatoes.

2. Carefully pour in the crushed tomatoes. If the sauce seems too thick to you, you can add some water to thin it out a little bit. Stir everything together. Lower the heat, and let the sauce simmer for about 15-20 minutes before adding the kale.

3. In the meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. When the water begins boiling, add the pasta and cook it until it is al dente.

4. Let the kale wilt in the sauce while the pasta cooks. Adjust the seasoning.

5. When the pasta is done, drain it well. You will add about a ladleful of sauce per 1/4 pound of pasta. Toss everything together, and then divide the pasta into warmed bowls.

6. Top each serving of pasta with a nice, fat dollop of ricotta cheese. Drizzle some olive oil on top of everything. Before eating, be sure to mix the ricotta into the pasta with your fork!

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12 Comments

  1. Bobbie

    I am also a huge fan of the Jersey Farms Crushed Tomatoes and am having a problem finding a vendor to ship to me now that Primizie seems to be closed. Any suggestions on who is shipping this product? Thanks, now that I’m hooked I can’t go to any other product. I’m down to my last case.

    • Thanks for the message! Isn’t it such a shame about Primizie?

      If you live in the New York Metro area, you can order Jersey Farms Crushed Tomatoes from Freshdirect. They almost always have it in stock.

      If not, it looks like Sickles Market has it available online.

      Alternatively, you could contact stockists like The Greene Grape, Brooklyn Larder, Union Market, Murray’s Cheese, directly to see if they still carry it, and if you could place an order by phone.

      I hope that this helps!

      • Bobbie

        thanks for the speedy response! Sickles Market cannot ship cases to me [i’m located in new england]. The Greene Grape cannot do large quantities. I’m now in contact with Freshdirect, hoping that they can handle my request. I also contacted Brooklyn Larder, Union Mrkt, and Murray Cheese, who also cannot ship to me in that quantity.

        Any idea what happened to Primizie? They were so wonderful to do talk to! I also contacted the company that supposedly took over Primizie and they aren’t going to be carrying this product.
        Surprising, since it seems like there’s a huge demand online for it.

        I’ll let you know if Freshdirect can ship me. I’m crossing my fingers, but still hunting for a supplier.

        • It looks like Primizie was sold over the summer! On Serious Eats, they are saying that Baldor Specialty Foods took it over, but I don’t seem to see the tomatoes available through their online store. You might want to contact them too since it seems that they will be taking over some of Primizie’s product line.

          Also, I just saw that Chelsea Market Baskets carries the tomatoes too. You might run into the same issue (not being able to ship them in the quantity you want), but it does look like they stock the tomatoes in 6-lb cans . . .

          Whole Foods used to stock it, but now it seems that they are stocking something called Jersey Fresh Crushed Tomatoes. Is it the same thing? I haven’t tried them, so I don’t know. Given that you are still able to buy Jersey Farms Crushed tomatoes, it makes me wonder . . . but I did see something about the Jersey Fresh line also coming from 6 farms, like the Jersey Farms one does . . . The Jersey Fresh ones seem to be much more easily found by the case . . .

          Of course, journalists and bloggers alike can mix things up (I wish people would fact-check more!), and this might be the case of someone mixing the two up.

          If I hear of something else, I will definitely let you know! Keep me updated on the search too! And good luck! Those tomatoes are worth it!

          • Bobbie

            so far nobody can ship to me, Fresh Direct said no. The cans I love are the Jersey Farm Crushed. I was also confused by the Jersey Fresh Crushed. Like you I don’t know if they are the same. Whole Foods has them, but I’m not in the correct district for them to ship. I contacted Baldor and they said the product is no longer going to be in their line. Thanks for your help, I guess I need to drive 3 hours to stock up!

            • Oh, man. That’s a bummer! Grrrrrr! The Jersey Farms one is sooooo good! No idea about the Jersey Fresh ones. I should try them and see.

              As for driving 3 hours to stock up on food, I’ve done that before for wine. I’ve also done it for pie. Delicious, delicious Briermere pies.

              So sorry though that it seems so hard to get someone to ship them. The only other thing I can think of is contacting Dean and Deluca. The reason why I didn’t suggest it earlier was that they seem to have a whole separate online/phone order division with a specific catalog, and I wasn’t sure if they would fulfill an order for something that is sold in their grocery market. I think that they are pretty accommodating though in terms of requests (I mean, they charge such a premium, they have to be), so I would be tempted to call the Soho store at 212-226-6800, to see if they can handle an order.

              If I hear of anything else, I will let you know.

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