Baked Rigatoni with Spicy Italian Sausage

A month or so ago, my husband and I went to dinner with friends at Buca di Beppo.  We ordered Baked Rigatoni with Spicy Italian Sausage. It was so good, it was all we talked about on the way home!  I had to make my own version just a few days later.  This is what we came up with!  I hope you like it!  Side note: they have a Chef’s table in the kitchen at Buca di Beppo I would love to reserve for my birthday dinner next year… HINT HINT!

  This dish is warm, filling and goes perfectly with my Focaccia bread!

Baked Rigatoni with Spicy Italian Sausage

Ingredients

  • 1 (16 ounce) package Rigatoni pasta
  • 1/2 pound mild Italian sausage
  • 1/2 pound spicy Italian sausage  (You can use all mild, all spicy, or a combination of both.  It’s up to you!)
  • 1 large yellow onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly cracked pepper
  • 4 basil leaves, shredded (or 1 tsp dried basil)
  • 1 medium jar spaghetti sauce ( I used Ragu )
  • 1 cup Mozzarella Cheese, shredded and divided in half
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water.  Stir occasionally, until the pasta has cooked through, but still firm. (about 8 minutes)  Drain well.
  3. While pasta is cooking, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage, and cook until brown.  Remove sausage from the skillet, but leave drippings in the pan.
  4. Add the minced onion to the pan with the sausage drippings and cook until the onion is soft, about 10 minutes.  Add the minced garlic and cook two minutes longer.
  5. Return the sausage to the skillet with the onions and garlic.  Add all the seasonings to the meat and onion mixture.  Stir well.
  6. In a large bowl combine pasta with the spaghetti sauce, basil leaves and half the shredded mozzarella.  Add the meat mixture.  Stir to combine.
  7. Pour everything into the 9 x 13 dish. Cover with remaining cheeses. Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil.
  8. Bake until heated through, about 20 minutes. Uncover; return to the oven and bake until cheese is melted and lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

While the Rigatoni is resting, make your Focaccia Bread (follow the link above to the posted recipe!)  When it’s ready, call me so I can come over for dinner!

Enjoy!

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