Baked rigatoni with sausage, ricotta cheese, fresh basil and mozarella.
I have searched high and low for the best baked rigatoni recipe, and I can honestly say I have finally found it.
The best part is, this is also a one pot recipe – just about the best thing ever.
You start by browning the sausage in your dutch oven, then layering in the rest of the ingredients slowly but surely.
After cooking on the stove top for a bit, you will place in the oven under the broiler for a few minutes to brown the tops of the dollops of ricotta cheese for the finishing touch.
I think the fresh basil and freshly shredded mozzarella cheese add a lot to this dish.
The next time you’re in the mood to try a new pasta dish, you really should give this a whirl. It is really easy and beyond delicious.
Also, the leftovers are amazing.
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Baked Rigatoni with sausage, ricotta cheese, fresh basil and mozzarella.
- 16 oz mild italian sausage
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 jar tomato sauce (28 oz)
- 1 can diced tomatoes (14 oz)
- 3/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 cups water
- 12 oz rigatoni or penne (about 3 3/4 cups)
- 6 tbsp chopped fresh basil
- 2 cups baby spinach, chopped
- 6 oz whole milk mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 2 oz parmesan cheese (1 cup)
- 8 oz whole milk ricotta cheese ( 1 cup)
In a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, cook the sausage, with casings removed, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in the minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add the tomato sauce, diced tomato (with the juice), oregano, salt, sugar, and pepper flakes. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
Stir in the water, pasta, 1/4 cup basil, and increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer vigorously, stirring often, until the pasta is still very firm but starting to soften, 6 to 8 minutes. In the meantime, adjust the oven rack 8 inches from the broiler element and heat the broiler.
Remove the pasta from the heat and stir in the spinach, 3/4 cup mozzarella, and 1/2 cup of Parmesan. Place dollops of ricotta cheese over the top surface of the pasta evenly, then top with the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan.
Broil the ziti until the cheese is bubbling and beginning to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the dish cool for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons of basil and serve.
Adapted from Bless This Mess Please