Italian sausage and a blend of deli meats are tossed with a homemade pasta sauce and rigatoni for a simple yet satisfying pasta dish! The baked rigatoni is comfort food for all of us, pasta lovers!
I’m not sure how much you know about current events. I’m not talking about the pandemic or the election, instead, I am talking about the Travis Scott hamburger meal at McDonald’s
I would not have known anything about this new menu item if it weren’t for my 15-year-old son. He was so excited to get his hands on that burger, he begged and pleaded with me to stop at McDonald’s every time we were in the car.
Eventually, I relented and we stopped. I wish I could have recorded his excited anticipation. Did the burger live up to the hype? It was a bacon cheeseburger with BBQ sauce, so no it wasn’t as exciting as he had hoped. However, that hasn’t stopped him from getting that burger at least a half a dozen times more.
I’m not a fast food eater, so I would never get excited about a hamburger inspired by someone famous. What I DO excited about is pasta! Lots and lots of pasta! This baked rigatoni is exactly the kind of meal that has me licking my lips.
What Is Baked Rigatoni?
Baked rigatoni is rigatoni pasta tossed with a tomato-based meat sauce and cheese and baked until bubbly and golden. It is a filling meal that comes together rather quickly and can be adapted to suit any taste!
How To Make Baked Rigatoni
STEP ONE – Prepare the rigatoni according to package directions.
STEP TWO – Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add Italian sausage, cook and crumble until no longer pink. Stir in garlic and cook another minute.
STEP THREE – Add chopped ham, pepperoni, and soppressata to the skillet and cook until the edges just begin to crisp.
STEP FOUR – Reduce heat and add the crush tomatoes and tomato paste. Season the mixture with herbs.
STEP FIVE – Toss sausage mixture with the rigatoni and 1 ½ cups of mozzarella cheese. Pour into a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish. Spread remaining mozzarella cheese over the pasta and bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.
Can You Make Baked Rigatoni Ahead of Time?
Absolutely! To make this baked pasta in advance, prepare the recipe as directed up the baking. Instead, cover the casserole with aluminum foil and refrigerate until needed. When ready, preheat the oven to 350 and allow the pasta to come to room temperature until the oven is heated. Then bake the rigatoni as directed.
Can You Freeze Baked Rigatoni?
This pasta dish freezes beautifully! Prepare the recipe as directed except for the last step, Instead, cover the pasta with a layer of plastic wrap and then aluminum foil. Freeze the pasta for up to 2 months,
When needed, allow the pasta to come to room temperature while the oven preheats, then bake as directed.
You can also partially or fully bake the pasta first, and then freeze. Make sure the pasta is covered completely. Thaw the pasta then reheat in the oven,
Baked pasta can dry out easily. Adding extra sauce before heating can help solve this issue. Also, covering the pasta during reheating will help the pasta retain moisture that is typically lost during baking.
Baked Rigatoni Recipe Tips
If you cannot find rigatoni, and pasta with ridges will work, i.e. ziti or penne
Feel free to use your favorite pasta sauce in place of the homemade tomato sauce if you are short on time.
Ground turkey, chicken, or ground beef can be used in place of the Italian sausage.
If you want to make rigatoni with ricotta cheese, dot the ricotta over the pasta before you cover the dish with the remaining mozzarella cheese.
Feel free to swap out the deli meat in this dish! Or omit them altogether.
What To Serve With Baked Rigatoni?
- 1 lb rigatoni pasta
- ½ lb cooked crumbled Italian sausage
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 1 28 can crushed tomatoes
- 1 6 oz can tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 slices deli ham, chopped
- 2 oz pepperoni
- 3-4 slices soprasseta chopped
- 2 cup shredded mozzarella, divided
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with non-stick spray and set aside.
- Prepare the rigatoni according to package directions.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add Italian sausage, cook and crumble until no longer pink. Stir in garlic and cook another minute.
- Add chopped ham, pepperoni, and soppressata to the skillet and cook until the edges just begin to crisp.
- Reduce heat and add the crushed tomatoes and tomato paste. Season the mixture with dried oregano, basil, and salt.
- Toss sausage mixture with the rigatoni and 1 cup of mozzarella cheese. Pour into the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella cheese over the pasta and bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.
Nutrition InformationYield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 509Total Fat 19gSaturated Fat 8gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 11gCholesterol 51mgSodium 1689mgCarbohydrates 62gFiber 11gSugar 23gProtein 28g