This hearty baked pasta takes advantage of pantry ingredients for easy prep. There’s no chopping required for the tomato sauce with sausage and the pasta and sauce bake up together with melted pockets of cheese inside.
Pasta and Sauce
- 8 ounces rigatoni
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound mild Italian sausage, casings removed
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon onion powder,
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced fire roasted tomatoes
- 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
- Chopped parsley, for garnish (optional)
- 2 ounces sliced provolone cheese, divided (see note)
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded asiago cheese, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 pinches of black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Boil the pasta for about 3/4 of the time listed on the package. For rigatoni, this should take approximately 8 to 9 minutes. Drain the pasta.
- While the pasta boils, heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Brown the sausage in the oil and use your spatula to break it up as it cooks. Add the balsamic vinegar and, as it simmers, scrape up the browned bits off the bottom of the pan.
- Add the Italian seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Add the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Stir to combine and bring the sauce to a simmer.
- While the sauce simmers, make the cheese filling. Take half of the sliced provolone and cut it into small strips. Save the other half for the top of the pasta. Place the provolone in a bowl with the ricotta, half of the Asiago cheese, and all of the salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
- Cover the bottom of a 9×9″ baking dish with a thin layer of sauce. Top with half of the pasta. Top the pasta with dollops of the cheese filling (about half of the mixture). Top with half of the sauce. Repeat with the rest of the pasta and cheese finishing with the rest of the sauce on top.
- Place the rest of the sliced provolone on the sauce and sprinkle the rest of the Asiago over the top. Cover the dish with foil and bake it for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake it uncovered for 15 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is melted. Garnish with parsley, if using.
- You can use the same amount of shredded provolone cheese. I like to use sliced cheese because I don’t have to deal with shredding it.
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Italian
- Serving Size: 1/4 of recipe
- Calories: 885
- Fat: 51.3g
- Carbohydrates: 66.8g
- Fiber: 7g
- Protein: 35.8g
Keywords: baked rigatoni, baked pasta recipe, pasta with sausage