Best Baked Rigatoni Recipes
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Baked Rigatoni Shopping Tips
Italian food is about simplicity and letting the ingredients shine. So make sure you get ingredients that are great quality and flavor. Farmers markets and specialty stores will have great produce and products. Just be sure to have some great olive oil.
Baked Rigatoni Cooking Tips
Unlike other highly regarded cuisines, Italian cooking is usually simple to make with many dishes having only 4 to 8 ingredients. Italian cooks rely chiefly on the quality of the ingredients rather than on elaborate preparation.
- 8 ounces rigatoni (cooked, drained, and rinsed following package directions)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound ground beef (extra-lean)
- 1 large carrot (finely chopped or grated)
- 1 medium onion (chopped)
- 2 ribs celery (chopped)
- 1/2 red bell pepper (or green bell pepper, diced)
- 1 small zucchini (quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced, about 1 cup)
- 4 cloves garlic (mashed and finely chopped)
- 1 teaspoon Creole or Cajun seasoning (such as Emeril's, Tony Chachere, or Zatarain)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried leaf oregano or Italian seasoning herb blend
- 1 (14.5 oz) can tomatoes with juice (diced)
- 4 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons dry red wine (or more water)
- 8 ounces mozzarella cheese (about 2 cups, divided)
Lightly grease a 2 1/2-quart baking dish.
In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add ground beef, carrot, onion, and celery. Cook, breaking the ground beef up and stirring until ground beef is browned and onion is tender.
Add the bell pepper, zucchini, garlic, Creole seasoning, and oregano or Italian seasoning. Continue cooking, stirring, for about 2 minutes.
Add tomatoes, tomato paste, water, and wine or more water bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
Combine the sauce mixture with the cooked, drained rigatoni.
Spoon half of the pasta mixture into the baking dish sprinkle evenly with half of the cheese. Top with remaining pasta mixture and remaining cheese.
Any straight tubular pasta will work for this recipe. Rigatoni is my favorite but ziti, penne, mezzi rigatoni, or very similar will all work too.
Ground sweet Italian sausage is one of my favorite additions to any pasta dish. This recipe calls for 1 pound of sweet Italian sausage and 1/2 a pound of ground beef. You can make the same recipe with up to 2 pounds of meat if you want a little more protein. A 50-50 split, all beef, or all sausage all works and is totally up to preference.
Spice it up with some spicy Italian sausage for a delicious spicy kick.
This Rigatoni Pasta Bake is so delicious and may just become a new addition to your favorites. This recipe is jam-packed with flavor and incredible texture, that your loved ones will fall in love with. This recipe will just melt in your mouth with the creamy sauce and mix of beef, pasta, and cheese.
I have to say this rigatoni pasta is one of my favorite dishes. Some of my other favorite pasta recipes are Italian Sausage, Spinach, and Ricotta Stuffed Shells, One Pot Loaded Veggie Pasta, and this Baked Spaghetti which is also great as a freezer meal.
This recipe will feed a hungry crowd, and is also great for leftovers. I know my family really likes it too if the clean plates are any indication. It sure makes washing the dishes a lot easier when there is a stack of clean plates in the sink. But it is still hard to get the pan clean. The last thing I want to do after a family dinner is scrub the pan. Using pan liners are a huge help. It cuts down on scrubbing dishes.
Need a great family-size casserole dish? This Corningware 4-Quart Casserole Dish is perfect for this rigatoni pasta bake and more.
Rigatoni pasta recipes are so perfect for a lot of people. I love how this recipe will feed my large family and still yield a few leftovers. It’s also very simple to prepare. I admit that on occasion I use already prepared sauce, but it’s so simple to make this sauce and it truly does taste a lot better.
How Long Do You Cook Rigatoni?
The steps to cook Rigatoni are very simple. Add water into a pot and bring your water to a boil. You will need to place the noodles uncovered on your stovetop for approximately 8-12 minutes to cook thoroughly. Then add all your ingredients to your baking dish while your oven preheats to 325 degrees, then your pasta bake will take about 20 minutes to finish.
Should You Cover A Pasta Bake?
For this particular Pasta Bake and many others, it is important to cover your dish. Cover your baking dish in foil and pinch the edges to seal everything in. The reason why you do this is to make sure the heat circulates through your dish and cooks thoroughly.
What Can I Use Instead Of Rigatoni?
Pasta can be made in all shapes and sizes. For this Pasta Bake, I recommend using Rigatoni, but you can substitute it with something else. You can use almost any type of pasta for this pasta bake. You can use egg noodles, macaroni noodles, and more.
Why Did My Rigatoni Break Apart?
Pasta can be very fragile when not made correctly. For this rigatoni recipe, how long you boil your pasta matters. The recommended time to cook your rigatoni is 8-12 minutes, and if you over cook it, it can cause your noodles to fall or break apart. Making sure to cook them for the right amount of time is important.
- 1 lb. rigatoni pasta
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 2 links Italian sausage casings removed
- 28 ounce crushed tomatoes
- 30 ounce (2 cans) tomato sauce
- 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 2 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt to taste
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 1/2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese finely shredded
How to Make Rigatoni Pasta Bake
In a large pot of boiling water, cook pasta according to package directions, until al dente.
In a 3 Qt saucepan, brown ground beef and sausage, on medium, until crumbly and cooked through. Stir crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, and tomato paste. Stir in garlic powder, Italian seasoning, sugar, salt, and pepper.
Allow to simmer 3 – 5 minutes, allowing the flavors to combine. If the sauce seems a little thick, add a small amount of water. Gently stir pasta into sauce.
Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Add half the pasta and sauce mixture to the baking dish. Sprinkle half the Mozzarella and Parmesan over the pasta. Repeat with a second layer.
Bake in preheated 325 oven, covered with foil, for 20-25 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 15 – 20 minutes, until hot and bubbly.
How to make veggie lover&rsquos baked rigatoni
First, toss the cherry tomatoes with the olive oil and place in an even layer on a baking sheet.
Roast at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, or until tomatoes start to wilt and burst.
This brings out such a lovely flavor in the tomatoes!
Cook your rigatoni according to instructions and set aside
In a large skillet, combine the onions, mushrooms, bell pepper, zucchini, garlic, dried basil, salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
Sautee the vegetables on medium high heat for 12-15 minutes, or until liquid is released and vegetables have started to cook down.
Add spinach and wilt for several minutes, then add the sauce and stir to combine.
Add the cooked tomatoes to the sauce with the other veggies and stir.
Mix the mozzarella and parmesan cheeses together in a bowl.
Add 1 cups of cheese mixture to the sauce/veggie skillet and stir.
Combine rigatoni with sauce/veggie skillet and transfer mixture to a 13 by 9 baking dish.
Top with remaining cheese, then bake until cheese is bubbly and beginning to brown, serve and enjoy!
I love the texture and firmness of rigatoni, and it doesn&rsquot get soggy quickly when baking, making it perfect for this pasta bake.
Beautifully symmetrical pasta with tons of veggies and crispy pieces of cheese on top.
It&rsquos what my dinner time dreams are made of.
Freaking delish! We are new to the world of veggies but this dish here let&rsquos me know what we&rsquove been missing! I followed the directions and it came out perfect!
I used a blend of mozzarella and parmesan on top of the pasta and cooked it just long enough for the cheese to melt and start to get a little browned on top.
Those browned bits will be your favorite bites!
If you want it more browned on top, simply broil the pasta for the last 1-3 minutes, watching closely.
Broiling is great for getting the cheese nice and browned and crispy.
I love this recipe! We are trying to eat vegetarian every other day. This meal is filling and satisfying. &ndash Kasey
This makes a huge 13 by 9 casserole dish and we enjoyed the leftovers for several days.
Serve as is or with some red pepper flakes on top if you like a little heat!
You can&rsquot go wrong with this delicious pasta.
Are you making this recipe? I want to see! Don&rsquot forget to tag me on instagram @buildyourbite and hashtag #buildyourbite with your recipe creations!
Be sure to pin this recipe for later and follow Build Your Bite on Pinterest for all the latest delicious recipes!
What You Need For Rigatoni
Amazing ingredients on their own, combine to create an incredible homey dish.
- Rigatoni: Cook the pasta al dente for best results.
- Olive Oil: The perfect oil for this Italian dish.
- Small Onion: Finely chopped.
- Garlic Mince the garlic.
- Ground Beef: Use lean ground beef.
- Ground Sausage: Using Italian sausage add a nice bit of spice.
- Italian Seasoning: A great combination of spices and herbs.
- Salt and Pepper: Add to taste.
- Marinara: Use your favorite jarred sauce or even better make your own, it is so easy and delicious!
- Mozzarella: Use freshly shredded mozzarella over pre-shredded.
- Parmesan: Finely grated.
- Chopped Basil: This is optional but adds great flavor.
Easy Baked Rigatoni
Mmmm….a delicious and easy dinner, what can be better? I recommend using freshly shredded mozzarella cheese as opposed to the bagged stuff….its much creamier.
GF: Use GF rice noodles (rigatoni or penne)
In a 9吉 pan, combine 2 (16 oz) boxes of boiled rigatoni noodles and 1 batch of Grandma Ruth’s spaghetti sauce (you may use 2 jars of pre-made sauce if desired/in a hurry).
Cover with freshly shredded Mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, and garlic powder.
Cover with foil and bake at 375 for 20 mins, uncover and broil on high for 3 minutes.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves large garlic, finely chopped
- 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
- 2 cans (28 ounces each) sunpeeled crushed tomatoes in puree
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 pound rigatoni
- 1 1/2 pounds whole-milk ricotta cheese
- 1 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into small cubes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until hot. Add onion cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 4 minutes. Stir in garlic cook 1 minute. Stir in tomato paste cook 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, oregano, and red-pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly reduced, about 15 minutes.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil add 1 tablespoon salt. Add rigatoni cook until just al dente. Drain rinse under cold water. Stir together ricotta and half of mozzarella in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Spread 1 cup tomato sauce on bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Add half of rigatoni spread into an even layer. Top with 1 cup sauce and the ricotta mixture, spreading with a rubber spatula to cover. Top with remaining rigatoni and 1 1/2 cups sauce. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella on top to cover. Bake until sauce is bubbling and cheese has melted, 35 to 40 minutes.
Can I freeze Baked Rigatoni?
Absolutely! Baked rigatoni with beef is such a great meal to make ahead of time and reheat on a hectic night you don’t have time to cook! Or when unexpected company shows up right around dinnertime! If you intend on freezing this recipe, simply bake it in a freezer-safe casserole dish, cool completely, then cover and freeze for up to 2 months.
Step-by-Step Guide to Making Baked Rigatoni
Start by putting a large pot of water on the stove to boil and turning on the oven to 350 degrees.
While waiting for the water to heat (which always takes forever, right?), add the meat to a large skillet and begin to brown it over medium heat. Break it into small pieces and give it a little sprinkling of salt and pepper as it&rsquos cooking.
The pasta water may have started to boil by now. Or not. Depends on how much it likes to torture you with waiting (I&rsquom not very patient, in case you didn&rsquot notice). Add a couple tablespoons of salt and the pasta and cook according to the package directions. Mine took about ten minutes.
Now, back to the meat. Once it&rsquos all nice and browned, dump in the jar of sauce. Add a little water to the almost-empty sauce jar, give it a shake, and pour it into the pan, too.
If there is a lot of fat in the pan, you can use a spoon to drain it off, but any cheap sauce tastes pretty good with some meat and a little bit of the grease. Just a fact.
Let the sauce simmer and thicken while the rigatoni is cooking. I find that the key to delicious not-quite-homemade meat sauce is salt. Sprinkle&helliptaste&hellipsprinkle some more&helliptaste&hellipon and on.
Once the pasta is cooked al dente (should be just firmer than you would serve right now), drain into a colander.
By now, the sauce should be all thick and yummy, so dump the pasta right on top of it. If your skillet isn&rsquot big enough to hold it all, then you could also throw the pasta and sauce into the large pot you used for cooking the noodles. Give it a stir.
Pour or spoon it into a baking or casserole dish. You can use almost any size. Just remember that more surface area means more room for cheesy goodness. I usually use a basic 9 x 13 pan like this one.
Sprinkle with (lots of) cheese. Bake for about twenty to twenty-five minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
If the dish was made ahead of time and has been chilling in the fridge, it will take several minutes longer. Just be sure it&rsquos hot inside and all melty on top.
Scoop and eat. Oh, and if you REALLY want to have the meal of your life, add some homemade food processor French bread. Seriously, could there be anything better? Enjoy!