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Ultimate Baked Sausage and Cheese Rigatoni: A Hearty Italian Casserole Delight

Welcome back to SpiceMelt.com, your culinary haven! Today, we’re thrilled to share a recipe that’s sure to become a new favorite in your home – our Ultimate Baked Sausage and Cheese Rigatoni. This dish is a splendid fusion of savory sausage, rich cheese, and tender pasta, all baked to perfection. It’s the ideal meal for a comforting family dinner or a cozy gathering with friends.

Why Our Baked Sausage and Cheese Rigatoni Stands Out:

Our recipe takes the classic Italian rigatoni casserole and elevates it with a blend of select cheeses and perfectly seasoned sausage. The result is a dish that is not only satisfying and hearty but also packed with layers of flavor that will tantalize your taste buds.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb rigatoni pasta
  • 1 lb Italian sausage, casing removed
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jar (24 oz) marinara sauce
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh basil leaves for garnish (optional)

Preparation Method

  1. Cooking the Pasta: Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Cook the rigatoni in a large pot of salted boiling water until just al dente. Drain and set aside.
  2. Preparing the Sausage: In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the Italian sausage and cook until browned, breaking it into pieces as it cooks. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic, cooking until the onion is translucent and fragrant.
  3. Combining with Marinara: Pour the marinara sauce into the skillet with the sausage mixture. Stir in dried oregano and basil. Simmer for about 5 minutes to blend the flavors, then season with salt and pepper.
  4. Layering the Casserole: In a large baking dish, spread a layer of the sausage and marinara mixture. Follow with a layer of cooked rigatoni. Dollop spoonfuls of ricotta cheese over the pasta, then sprinkle with a generous amount of mozzarella and Parmesan.
  5. Repeat Layering: Continue layering with the remaining sausage mixture, rigatoni, and cheeses until all ingredients are used, finishing with a layer of cheese on top.
  6. Baking: Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown.
  7. Garnishing and Serving: Let the baked rigatoni rest for a few minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh basil leaves for a burst of color and flavor.

Conclusion

Our Ultimate Baked Sausage and Cheese Rigatoni is more than just a meal; it’s a celebration of rich, Italian flavors. This hearty casserole is perfect for those nights when you crave something deeply satisfying. Try this recipe for your next family dinner and watch it become a much-loved staple!

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