Rigatoni al Forno

Rigatoni al Forno
8 servings

Meaty, rich tomato sauce, rigatoni and cheese combine in this hearty baked pasta dish that’s like a warm hug in every bowl. 



Meat Sauce

lb(s) medium ground beef
lb(s) ground pork
Olive oil, two turns of the pan
cooking onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 leaves fresh basil
2 720
mL jars of Italian strained tomatoes (I like to use one jar of the chunkier rustic-style tomatoes, and one jar of the finely strained tomatoes)
cup water, stock or red wine (or more if your sauce is too thick)
Salt, to taste
Dried red chili pepper, to taste (optional)

Pasta and Assembly

1 454g
box of your favourite rigatoni
Sea salt, for the water
ball mozzarella cheese, shredded
cup Grated Parmigiano or Romano cheese


Step 1

Add the olive oil and onion to the pan and sautee over medium-low heat until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Step 2

Add beef and pork to pan and cook until browned, breaking up as it cooks.

Step 3

Once the meat is browned, drain any excess fat and liquid.

Step 4

Pour the tomatoes into the pan and stir, then add 1/2 cup of water, stock or red wine (or more, as desired). Set heat to medium, cover the pan, and simmer for 30 minutes.

Step 5

Add fresh basil leaves, salt and chili pepper, then simmer on medium-low heat for another 15 to 30 minutes until the sauce is cooked.

Step 6

Preheat the oven to 400ºF.

Step 7

Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil.

Step 8

Add the rigatoni to the boiling water and reduce heat to medium-high. Cook until slightly more firm than al dente (as it will continue cooking in the oven).

Step 9

Drain the pasta, reserving 1/3 cup of the water. Add the pasta back to the pot along with the reserved water and 1 cup of the sauce. Gently toss the pasta.

Step 10

Take an ovenproof 9×13 inch pan and line the bottom with a thin layer of the tomato sauce.

Step 11

Add 1/2 of the pasta to the pan and smooth it into an even layer. Top with half of the meat sauce, 1/2 of the grated mozzarella, and 1/2 of the grated Parmigiano.

Step 12

Add the other half of the pasta, and smooth it into an even layer. Top it with the remaining meat sauce, mozzarella and Parmigiano.

Step 13

Bake for 30 to 45 minutes until the cheese is golden and bubbly. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes.

Step 14

Divide into 8 pieces and serve with extra grated Parmigiano on the side.

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