Saturday Night Dinner Ideas: Rigatoni Pasta

August 12 2016 – Robert Fiumara

Rigatoni Pasta

Many families are looking for a dish that they can prepare in a relatively short amount of time. With everyone living a busy life between work and school, it isn't always easy to find the time to get things done in the kitchen. While you want something simple that can be made in just a few minutes, you also want something that is going to taste delicious. That's where a tasty rigatoni dish can come into play. Find out more about the history of the dish and how to make a simple rendition below.

What is Rigatoni?

Rigatoni is a type of tube-shaped pasta that comes in an assortment of different diameters and lengths. The noodles are larger than ziti and penne and can be slightly curved, but not as much as that of elbow macaroni. They have ridges running along their length that spiral all around the tube. The name rigatoni stems from the Italian word rigato which translates to the word ridged. It is commonly associated with the cuisine found in central and southern Italy. This dish is a favorite throughout southern Italy, especially in Sicily. Because of the ridges in the noodle, the grated cheese and sauce can stick to the pasta better.

Preparing Baked Rigatoni

Baked rigatoni is actually a lot simpler than you think to make. To begin with, you need to gather the following ingredients:

  • 4 c. tomato sauce
  • 1 lb. hamburger
  • 4 c. cooked rigatoni
  • 1.5 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ c. grated fresh parmesan
  • Cooking spray

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cook the hamburger over medium-high heat until it is nice and brown. Stir the meat until it is nicely crumbled. Drain any excess grease from the meat. Combine the meat, rigatoni noodles, tomato sauce and a cup of the mozzarella cheese. Coat an 11x7 baking dish with cooking spray. Toss your mixture into the dish. Top with the remaining ½ cup of mozzarella and the parmesan cheese. Bake it in your preheated oven for about 20 minutes until the dish is thoroughly heated through.

To help liven things up a bit, you can always add your choice of seasonings to the dish. Pair it with some delectable homemade garlic bread and a tossed salad for a complete meal that everyone is going to love. It won't take you very long in the kitchen to make this meal, but it will be a definite crowd pleaser. The kids will even love making this meal. You can change out the hamburger and replace it with sausage or turkey burger to give it your own unique twist. Enjoy a tasty Italian treat that everyone can enjoy without having to slave away for hours in the kitchen.

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