Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis’ Cheesy Baked Rigatoni with Sausage includes chopped sausage, whole milk ricotta cheese and broccoli. It’s a delicious, well-balanced casserole that even picky eaters will appreciate.
Hearty Rigatoni and Sausage Casserole from De Laurentiis
The chief’s cooking and lifestyle blog Giadzy pondered on the universal love that many eaters have for a baked pasta casserole.
“Oh, baked pasta – whether it’s in the form of lasagna or ziti or anything in between, it’s our official love letter,” the De Laurentiis food site said. “While we always find great comfort in dishes like Gricia or Aglio e Olio, there is an unrivaled sense of comfort that comes with digging into a casserole of bubbly, cheesy noodles.
“It’s the kind of soul-filling, rib-sticking dish we’re all loving right now – in times of uncertainty, food is always there for us. Especially Giada’s baked pasta recipes.
De Laurentiis sausage and rigatoni casserole is bursting with goodness. You will need the ricotta cheese, sausage and broccoli, as well as the rigatoni pasta, garlic, marinara sauce, parmesan and mozzarella cheeses.
Giada De Laurentiis’ dish is prepared quickly
To start, the chef browns the mild Italian sausage taken from its casing, breaking it up with a spoon. “I just want to cut that sausage a little bit so that every bite of pasta has some flavor,” De Laurentiis said in the Food Network video for this recipe.
While the sausage cooks, fresh broccoli is cut up and placed in the same pan with the sausage. Season as you go and add the minced garlic. Jar marinara sauce is poured into the pan; De Laurentiis notes to “make sure all the broccoli and sausage get some sauce.”
De Laurentiis pasta finishes cooking in the oven
Cook the pasta in boiling water, a little less al dente. It will continue to cook once mixed with the sausage mixture. Meanwhile, mix the chopped fresh basil with the ricotta in a separate bowl and set aside.
Pour the cooked pasta into the pan with the sausage, adding a few ladlefuls of hot pasta water: “Remember that the pasta water adds that extra bit of moisture we need to cook the broccoli. “
Grate the parmesan cheese directly into the pan: “Toss everything together and, see, the pasta continues to cook here and it absorbs all the flavors of the sausage and the sauce.”
Finally, spoon a spoonful of the ricotta and basil mixture on top of the pan, followed by shredded mozzarella cheese for a “nice kind of cheesy crust on top.”
Place in the oven at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes until the cheese is melted.
Get the full recipe, video and reviews on the Food Network website.
Chef’s recipe earns 5-star success on Food Network website
Home cooks loved De Laurentiis’ quick dish, writing “This is an excellent, flavorful, easy and pretty pasta dish for the family or a small group. … This will be one of my new favorite recipes” and “My family enjoyed this dish.
Another reviewer changed the type of sausage used: “Loved it!!! I used spicy sausage instead as my family likes their pasta with a kick.
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