Baked Rigatoni (Pasta al Forno)

Baked rigatoni (pasta al forno)

Baked Rigatoni (Pasta al Forno)

Baked Rigatoni or Pasta al Forno as they call it in Italy is quite possibly my favorite dish. Loaded with cheese with a crispy crust, it’s easy to see why.

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Baked rigatoni (pasta al forno)

Baked Rigatoni, better known as Pasta al Forno in Italy is oven baked pasta loaded with cheese. There’s many ways to prepare it, but there’s only one way to eat it…fast and furious! This comfort food is one of my absolute favorites!

Homemade tomato sauce

How do you make baked rigatoni (pasta al forno)?

Like I mentioned above, there’s a number of ways you can prepare baked rigatoni. Some people use ricotta cheese…some don’t. Others put hard boiled eggs in it…some don’t. Some put peas in there’s…some don’t. Others layer their pasta al forno, some mix it all together.

There’s really no right or wrong answer. It comes down to preference. But any which way you prepare it, it all starts with the sauce. Therefore, cook your sauce and make sure it’s ready before you start preparing the pasta.

Pasta boiling in a pot

First, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Then, put up a pot of salted boiling water and add your rigatoni. Cook for about half the time it calls for to make the pasta al dente. Strain and then add the pasta to a large bowl.

Rigatoni with sauce in a bowl
Rigatoni with tomato sauce in a bowl

Now, let’s start to mix all the ingredients. As I said earlier, some people like to layer their pasta al forno but I prefer to mix everything together.

First things first, let’s start off by adding some sauce to the rigatoni. Mix.

Shredded fresh mozzarella
A container of Ricotta cheese
Rigatoni with shredded mozzarella

Once you add the sauce, throw in some shredded fresh mozzarella and ricotta cheese. Mix.

I realize it’s easier to just get the bagged stuff, but trust me, make the extra effort to shred some fresh mozzarella and use that. Add the mozzarella first and then mix in the ricotta cheese.

Parmesan cheese added to rigatoni

Next, add some Parmigiano-Reggiano (or Parmesan) cheese. Mix.

Now repeat all the steps except the ricotta cheese. More mozzarella…more Parmesan…mix. Make sure to save some mozzarella for the top just before baking.

Peas added to a bowl of pasta

Finally, if you’re adding peas…add them now. Mix.

Rigatoni in a casserole

Now grab a baking dish and add the rigatoni mixture.

Rigatoni ready to be baked

Top with some more of the sauce and a few more handfuls of the fresh mozzarella and you’re ready for baking.


Should you cover your pasta al forno?

Yes. For the first 20 minutes of baking you’re going to want to keep your baked rigatoni covered. This will help keep the moisture in and keep the pasta al forno from drying out.

Baked rigatoni pasta al forno

After 20 minutes, take the foil off and cook for another 10 minutes uncovered.

Baked rigatoni (pasta al forno)

Just look at that. Baked rigatoni, pasta al forno, at it’s finest!

Buon appetito!


Be sure to check out my other Pasta Recipes. Delizioso!


Tools I used in this recipe:


Baked rigatoni (pasta al forno)

Baked Rigatoni (Pasta al Forno)

Baked Rigatoni, better known as Pasta al Forno in Italy is oven baked pasta loaded with cheese. There's many ways to prepare it, but there's only one way to eat it…fast and furious! This comfort food is one of my absolute favorites!
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6

Equipment

  • Baking dish
  • Large mixing bowl

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb rigatoni
  • 4 cups tomato sauce homemade or jarred
  • 4 cups fresh mozzarella shredded
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese whole or part skim
  • 1 cup parmesan (or parmigiano-reggiano) cheese grated
  • ½ cup frozen peas thawed

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Heat a large pot of salted water. When boiling, add your rigatoni. Cook for about half the time it calls for to make the pasta al dente. Strain and then add the pasta to a large bowl.
    Pasta boiling in a pot
  • Add a scoop or two of your sauce to the bowl of pasta. Mix.
    Rigatoni with sauce in a bowl
  • Add the fresh mozzarella. Mix. Then add the ricotta cheese. Mix.
    Rigatoni with shredded mozzarella
  • Add the Parmesan cheese. Mix.
    Parmesan cheese added to rigatoni
  • Add another round of mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. After you add each ingredient, mix all together. Next, add your peas. Mix.
    Peas added to a bowl of pasta
  • Add the pasta to a large baking dish and add another scoop or two of your sauce and top with the last of the mozzarella cheese.
    Rigatoni in a casserole
  • Cover with tin foil and bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes.
    Baked rigatoni pasta al forno
  • Enjoy!
    Baked rigatoni (pasta al forno)

Notes

Buon appetito!
Keyword baked pasta, baked rigatoni, fresh mozzarella, pasta al forno, ricotta cheese
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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