Cheesy Italian Sausage Baked Rigatoni

delicious Cheesy Italian Sausage Baked Rigatoni weeknight dinner

This Cheesy Italian Sausage Baked Rigatoni is my idea of the ultimate comfort food! It’s one of my favorite recipes for a weeknight meal or for hosting a dinner party. It’s so simple to make, is packed with flavor, and really just tastes like a big hug. Hope you give this one a try and love it!

Here’s a video of exactly how I made my Cheesy Italian Sausage Baked Rigatoni! For another delicious dish, check out my Sicilian Inspired One Pan Baked Cod recipe.

What You'll Need:

+ 1 box Rigatoni (I love Barilla)

+ 2 tbsp. Olive oil

+ 1 lb. Italian sausage, casings removed

+ ½ large yellow onion, finely diced

+ 4 cloves garlic, minced

+ 1 24 oz. jar marinara sauce

+ 1 tsp. Dried basil

+ ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper

+ 1 ¼ cups ricotta cheese

+ 2 tbsp. fresh parsley, finely chopped plus more for garnish

+ 2 cups mozzarella cheese

+ 1 cup freshly grated parmesan, divided

+ Splash of red wine (about ¼ cup)

+ Salt and pepper to taste

Steps:

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. In a small mixing bowl, add ricotta, fresh parsley, salt and pepper to taste.

3. In a large pot of heavily salted boiling water cook pasta until al dente.

4. Meanwhile, in a dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat, add olive oil and Italian sausage. Brown the sausage while breaking large pieces up with a wooden spoon. Cook for approximately 7-8 minutes or until golden brown. Add the onions, stir to combine, and cook for 2-3 minutes or until they are translucent. Then, add the garlic, dried basil, and crushed red pepper. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant, being careful not to burn the garlic.

5. Deglaze with a splash of red wine. Add the marinara sauce and season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 5-8 minutes. Once pasta is al dente, transfer directly into the marinara sauce, stir to combine, and remove from the heat. Add in ½ cup of parmesan cheese and a splash of pasta water. Stir to combine.

6. In a 9×13 baking dish, add half of the saucy rigatoni mixture, dollops of half of the ricotta mixture, half of the mozzarella cheese and half of the remaining parmesan cheese (1/4 cup). Repeat this process once more and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and golden. Garnish with additional parsley and enjoy.

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