baked rigatoni with ragù

6 as an appetizer; 4 as side dish    |   
Prep Time:
35 minutes    |   
Cook Time:
35 minutes

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baked rigatoni

Love lasagna…hate the work. Sound familiar? If you cook pasta tubes and toss them with ricotta, then layer with meat sauce and bake, you get the same effect with a lot less trouble. A big ol’ pan of satisfaction, that’s what this is.


olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1-1/2 pounds ground beef
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon dried oregano
28-ounce can crushed tomatoes (see note)
salt and freshly grated pepper
1 pound rigatoni or penne
15-ounce container ricotta cheese
1/2 cup milk (any kind)
1 cup grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese


Preheat an oven to 375°F. In a large, deep pot heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add the onion. Cook, stirring, until softened (about 3 minutes), then add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the beef, stirring until no longer pink. Stir in the parsley, oregano and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until sauce thickens a bit, about 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, bring another large pot of salted water to boil and cook the pasta until al dente, about 11 minutes. Grease the bottom of a 13x9x2-inch baking dish or other lasagna pan with a film of olive oil.

While pasta is cooking, whisk the ricotta and milk together in a large bowl. When pasta is done, drain it and add to bowl with ricotta; stir until pasta is coated. Spread half of the pasta mixture in the bottom of the baking dish. Spoon half the sauce from the pot over the pasta and sprinkle with half of the Parmesan or Asiago. Repeat layers. Bake until the sauce is bubbly and the top is browned around the edges, about 35 minutes.