Baked Rigatoni with Chicken Sausage

Baked Rigatoni with Chicken Sausage

I’ve been in a pasta mood lately.  Mainly because it can feed a lot of people and it keeps well as leftovers.  When I decided to make this dish, I had my nephew’s palate in mind.  Kimi is out of town and she asked me if I could make additional servings to feed LLJ and LLS.  LLJ is a huge cheese and pasta fan so I thought he might enjoy this one.  I know Chris and I sure did! 🙂 Have a great long weekend everyone!

Baked Rigatoni with Chicken Sausage

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Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of sweet Italian chicken sausage
  • olive oil for cooking
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper to season
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, crushed (using the tip of your fingers)
  • 1/4 cup of fresh basil, chopped
  • 2/3 cup of white wine (I used a Chardonnay)
  • 1 (28 ounce) can of crushed tomatoes (I used San Marzano)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 (16 ounce) package of rigatoni, cooked until not quite al dente; about 10 minutes
  • 1 (16 ounce) package of fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter plus extra to grease the baking pan
  • fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped

Baked Rigatoni with Chicken Sausage

Preparation:

In a large skillet over medium high heat add sausage and a little bit of olive oil.  Crumble and brown sausage.  Scoot sausage to the side of the skillet and add chopped onions and garlic.  Season with salt and pepper.  Then add oregano, thyme, red pepper flakes and basil.  Stir to combine, about 1 minute.  Pour white wine and let it bubble and reduce, about 2 minutes.  Then add crushed tomatoes and sugar.  Stir well then bring the sauce to a simmer.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Position the rack in the center.  Grease a 9½” x 9½”-inch glass baking dish (or you can use a 9″ x 13″-inch glass baking dish) with butter.  Pour cooked rigatoni into the sauce and toss to combine.  Pour half of the pasta into the greased baking dish.  Top with half of the sliced mozzarella cheese.  Then pour the remaining pasta over the cheese.  Then top with the remaining half of the sliced mozzarella cheese.  Sprinkle shredded mozzarella cheese and grated parmesan cheese on top, then dot the entire dish with butter pieces.  Bake the rigatoni uncovered for 20 minutes and broil it on high for 1-4 minutes to brown the top.  Sprinkle some chopped parsley on top and let the pasta stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Baked Rigatoni with Chicken Sausage
 

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45 thoughts on “Baked Rigatoni with Chicken Sausage

  1. Yum! You can’t beat a good pasta bake. Especially with lots of cheese like this one. I reckon some fennel seeds would be great in there too.

  2. I love pasta, especially in a red sauce with meat. Ordinarily you’d probably think the chicken wouldn’t give it a lot of flavor, but this dish is very flavorful. The best part was the pasta…cook it just before al dente and then finish it off in the oven. Perfecto!

  3. Gosh, this looks delicious! And reminds me how much I adore all baked pasta but rarely ever actually make it apart from lasagna….so going to now, though with a substitute for the chicken sausage as I wouldn’t be able to get that around here!. Gorgeous photos too.

  4. I love sweet Italian chicken sausages! I think it’s very flavorful and so much lighter as a bonus. There’s nothing I don’t like about this pasta dish! I would love to drop into your kitchen just to see and smell all the yummy food! Have a great holiday weekend!

  5. Love how you use, ‘scoot sausage to the side. I’ve never heard of that expression before.
    Anyway, I’ve just polished off 3 trad made sausages for sups, for the first time in months. Really nicely spicy Cumberland sausages that I slow cooked. Turned out to be a real treat. And I bet every mouthful of this baked rigatoni was as well! Perfect comfort food.

  6. Your Rigatoni with CHicken Sausage looks so comforting and decadent. Whenever I want comfort food, pasta always comes in mind first. As you said it can feed a crowd and stand well as left over….and they are so easy to prepare too. Can’t wait to give this a try. I always look for new pasta recipe to try out. Have a great weekend and thanks for sharing.

  7. I tried your pasta dish last night – left out the sausage but added lots of chopped olives in its place… we all loved it, thanks for the idea!

  8. I agree, pasta goes a long way in our household, including school lunches. My girls just love pasta al forno and yours, with the addition of chicken sausage, looks superb!

  9. Yum, I love love love chicken sausage…. and I don’t think I could ever turn down a cheesy pasta dish! This with some wine … what a nice way to relax after a long week!

  10. Anne, this looks so delicious! Rigatoni has always been one of my favorite pastas, and it’s the best baked like this with lots of cheese. The sausage is my meat choice as well!

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