Dry pasta and meatballs get baked with mozzarella and marinara in this genius shortcut recipe.
Slideshow:More Rigatoni Recipes
1/2 pound ground pork
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 cup plain dry breadcrumbs
1/3 cup lightly packed torn basil, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for garnish
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 pound uncooked rigatoni
1 pound fresh mozzarella, torn into 1-inch pieces
3 cups store-bought marinara sauce
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 400°. In a large bowl, combine the pork, beef, breadcrumbs, basil, cheese, eggs, and 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper; mix well. Roll tablespoonfuls of the mixture between wet palms to form 30 meatballs.
In a 9-by-13-inch ceramic baking dish, spread half of the pasta in an even layer. Arrange half of the meatballs and mozzarella over the pasta. Spoon half of the marinara sauce on top, and season with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Repeat with the remaining pasta, meatballs, mozzarella, sauce, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Add 2 1/2 cups of water to the dish, and cover tightly with foil.
Bake until the pasta is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, about 1 hour. Uncover and bake for 5 more minutes. Turn on the broiler, and broil 8 inches from the heat until the top is lightly browned. Let stand for 5 minutes, and then garnish the baked pasta with basil and cheese and serve.
You can use other pasta shapes, such as longer, thinner ziti, curly rotini or fusilli, shells, or campanelle, which look like little bells.
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