How To Make Beautifully Baked Rigatoni


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“Life is a combination of magic and pasta,” Federico Fellini

I would have to agree. Pasta is pretty magical when it is in my belly. Don’t feel guilty about making a homemade pasta meal. The fact that you are taking the time to prepare your lunch or dinner at home is a healthy step to be proud of rather than heading out to the Italian restaurant down the street. Your homemade dinner is definitely going to taste better than the one you order out. You can control your ingredients by buying organic and local sausage, cheese, tomatoes and herbs. Check out the nearest farmer’s market or contact a butcher in the area to discover local options. Start healthy habits by learning where your food comes from. I find fresh ingredients are loaded with flavor requiring less oil, seasonings and salt. If you are watching your waistline, try out a whole wheat rigatoni or veggie rigatoni. According to AskItalian, “Observe the ingredients, honor the bite and respect the pasta.”

Bon Apetit!

Baked Rigatoni:

4 cups cooked Rigatoni
1 ½ Park Skim Mozzarella cheese
24 oz Ricotta cheese
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese


2 Italian sausages, removed from casings
3 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves of garlic diced
1 1/2 cups of diced tomatoes
1 6 oz. can of tomato paste
1 8 oz. can of tomato sauce
1 bay leaf
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp oregano
½ tsp thyme
½ cup Italian parsley, chopped
1 carrot, peeled


Sauté sausages and garlic in olive oil until brown. Add diced tomatoes, tomato paste with 2 cans of water, tomato sauce and all remaining ingredients. Simmer for 2 hours with lid slightly open. Check salt toward the end of cooking and remove carrot when done.

Boil rigatoni until al dente, not overcooked. Put ½ in baking pan, dab with ricotta, add sauce and mozzarella cheese. Do the same to the next layer. Top with the parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes covered.