Beer and Garlic Grilled Bratwurst with Rigatoni

beerrigatoni 2

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


  1. 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.
  2. Mince thyme and shred cheese.
  3. Grill brats (either outside or on an indoor grill pan).
  4. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  5. Heat marinara and crushed tomatoes.
  6. Cut brats on the diagonal
  7. Spoon sauce over cooked pasta, add bratwurst, thyme and cheese.


Until next time, Kris



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