Summer evenings call for a simple dinner, one that has “summer” written all over it. This week, I wanted to make brats for dinner, but also wanted pasta. So I decided I’d cook my brats in beer, as I always do before grilling them, and also add in a few cloves of garlic into the pot. Somehow the idea of a brat, simmered in beer sounded so good with marinara sauce. I pulled out a package of rigatoni and cooked that, minced a package of fresh thyme, and shredded a cheese that I really love. It’s Black Pepper Toscana Cheese that I buy at Trader Joe’s. I love this cheese! I also buy Syrah soaked Toscana at Trader Joe’s. If you haven’t tried either of these cheeses, run … don’t walk to your nearest Trader Joe’s and buy some. It’s really good.
I decided I’d google to find out a bit about Toscana cheese. I knew I loved it, but didn’t know much about it. What I found out from Wikipedia is that Toscana cheese is a firm textured ewe’s milk cheese that is produced in Tuscany. Toscana that is “well matured is widely used across Italy as a substitute for parmesan.”
My niece, Madeline was here for dinner and her and I wanted pasta, Kylie and Dennis wanted their brats in a bun. Once Dennis saw the pasta put together with the brats, he ended up choosing to have the Beer Brat Rigatoni Pasta with Maddie and I.
I placed my sausages in a large saucepan and covered them with beer and added three cloves of garlic that I had peeled and cut into pieces. The brats were brought to a boil and then simmered for 10-15 minutes, until they were no longer pink.
Meanwhile, I started the water for my pasta. I then minced 3/4 of a package of fresh thyme and set it aside and shredded the black pepper Toscana cheese.
Once the brats were done simmering, I removed them from the beer and grilled them on my indoor grill pan. After they had the grill marks I was looking for (cooking them a few minutes per side), I set them aside.
Putting the pasta together was easy. I heated a jar of marinara sauce, along with a can of crushed tomatoes. I spooned the marinara sauce over the rigatoni, placed one cut up brat (I cut them on the diagonal because I think it looks prettier) on each plate, sprinkled fresh thyme and shredded cheese over the top and dinner was served.
- 1 package bratwurst
- 2 bottles of beer (I used Stella Artois)
- 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and cut in half
- 3 tablespoons fresh thyme, minced
- black pepper Toscana cheese (as much or as little as you like)
- 1 package dried rigatoni
- Place brats in a large saucepan, add beer and garlic and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10-15 minutes, until the sausages are no longer pink.
- Mince thyme and shred cheese.
- Grill brats (either outside or on an indoor grill pan).
- Cook pasta according to package directions.
- Heat marinara and crushed tomatoes.
- Cut brats on the diagonal
- Spoon sauce over cooked pasta, add bratwurst, thyme and cheese.
Until next time, Kris