Monday, May 18, 2015

Baked Rigatoni With Meatballs and Sausage

I love quick pasta meals, don't you?  Cheesy and rich is flavor even when they are thrown together at the last minute.  Pasta bakes are so easy to make and yet so elegant when served with a fresh tossed salad and some wonderful garlic bread.  I love the way the house smells when preparing any Italian meal.  I'd like to say I always make my own homemade pasta sauce, but I don't. Why bother when I can get the same delicious taste using Ragu Chunky Tomato, Onion and I can cut my cooking time in half?  I have included a quick recipe for homemade sauce but if you want to save time and get that wonderful flavor, use Ragu Chunky Sauces. And don't forget Star Fine Foods Olive Oils....I use them for all my cooking.

Baked Rigatoni With Meatballs and Sausage 

Meatballs and Sausage 
2 tablespoon Star Fine Foods Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
1 pound ground beef 
1 egg, beaten 
1/3 cup onion, finely chopped 
1/4- 1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
1/4 cup evaporated milk 
2 garlic cloves; minced 
3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese 
1 teaspoon oregano; dried 
salt and pepper to taste 
1 pound mild or hot Italian Sausage, casings removed and sliced 

In a large mixing bowl, beat egg lightly and then add in the onion, bread crumbs, evaporated milk, garlic, Parmesan, oregano, salt and pepper. Add ground beef and mix lightly. Add more bread crumbs if needed but do not pack meat down. Keep it loose and shape into small meatballs and set aside. Slice sausages to desired thickness.  Set aside.

In large heavy skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat; cook meatballs in batches until brown on all sides. Then transfer back to plate on paper towels.  Next, do the same thing with the sliced sausage and brown until just caramelized.  Again, set aside on paper towel lined plate. 

Pasta Sauce  (or skip this step and use your favorite sauce in a jar)

1 small onion, chopped fine 
2 garlic cloves; minced 
1 1/2 teaspoon basil; dried 
1 1/2 teaspoon sugar 
1 teaspoon dried oregano 
1 teaspoon salt 
3/4 teaspoon pepper 
28 ounce tomatoes; chopped 
2 tablespoon tomato paste 

In same skillet, add a little more oil if needed and saute onion and garlic until just tender.  Stir in tomatoes and tomato paste and bring to light boil. Stir in basil, oregano, sugar, basil, salt and pepper.  Add in cooked meatballs and sausage slices and reduce heat to a low simmer for about 40 minutes. Sauce will thicken as it cooks. 


3 cups rigatoni 
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese 
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese 
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

Boil pasta as directed on package. You want your pasta tender yet firm. Drain well and return to pot. Pour in your homemade or store bought pasta sauce with meatballs and sausage. Mix well to coat pasta. 

Transfer to 9 x 13 baking dish and sprinkle mozzarella all over the top. Then sprinkle on the Parmesan cheese evenly over top.  Bake for about 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and casserole is heated through. 

Photography is the property of and copyrighted to ©Welcome Home.

Look for STAR Extra Virgin Olive Oil in the olive oil section of our local grocery store or online at:

Star Fine Foods now has a promo code for all Welcome Home fans that will give you a 10% discount on anything you order online. Just enter WELCOMEHOME10 at checkout! 

Disclaimer: I have an ongoing relationship with STAR Fine Foods for my recipes and photography using their wonderful products. This post is sponsored by STAR. I am compensated for my time and work and I am sent products as I request them. However, all opinions of the product stated in this post are 100% my own. I truly love their products!
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