Baked Rigatoni With Sausage & Ricotta

Recipe By:  Eshun Mott
Total Time:  50 minutes
Prep Time:  20 minutes

Simple marinara sauce, browned sausage and dollops of ricotta combine to create this deconstructed lasagna. Classic comfort food without all the effort!

Ingredients
  • 500 g rigatoni
  • 1 796 mL can whole peeled Italian tomatoes (ideally San Marzano)
  • 2 to 3 anchovy fillets packed in oil, drained
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 6 large fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 300 g Italian sausage, casing removed, crumbled
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup ricotta
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan, divided
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella
  • 3 tbsp torn basil leaves, for garnish
Directions Yield:  Serves 4 to 6

Cook Pasta & Prepare Sauce

  1. Bring large pot of salted water to a boil. Add rigatoni and cook for 14 minutes, or until al dente. Drain, reserving 1⁄2 cup of pasta cooking water.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F. In food processor or blender (or use an immersion blender), combine canned tomatoes, anchovies, garlic, basil and oregano, and process until nearly smooth.

Sauté Sausage & Cherry Tomatoes

  1. Heat oil in large, ovenproof frying pan over medium heat. Add sausage and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring to break into small pieces, or until nicely browned.
  2. Add cherry tomatoes and sauté for one minute, or until skins have split.
  3. Add puréed sauce and bring to a simmer. Cook for two minutes to bring flavors together, and season well with salt and pepper.

Assemble Pasta

  1. Add water to sauce to add moisture, and stir to combine. Add rigatoni to pan and toss to coat, being sure that some sausage and cherry tomatoes are on top.

Top With Cheese & Bake

  1. In bowl, combine ricotta and 1⁄2 cup of Parmesan and, using spoon, dollop mixture on top of pasta. Sprinkle with mozzarella and remaining 1⁄2 cup of Parmesan.
  2. Bake for 22 minutes, or until cheese has browned in places and sauce is bubbling at edges. Let stand for five minutes and sprinkle with basil just before serving.

Photographer:
Maya Visnyei
Source:
House & Home March 2020
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