This cheesy baked rigatoni is layered with rigatoni, ricotta cheese, ground sweet Italian sausage and beef, fresh mozzarella, and topped with fresh chopped basil and parmesan cheese.
- 1 pound of rigatoni or ziti
- 1 pound ground sweet Italian sausage
- 1/2 pound 85% lean ground beef
- 24 ounces marinara
- 15 ounces ricotta cheese, transferred to a bowl and stirred to soften
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into bite-sized cubes
- 1/3 + 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese, divided
- 6–7 chopped fresh basil leaves
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 425 °F.
- Bring a large pot of water with a pinch of salt to a boil. Cook pasta al dente, strain, and transfer to a bowl or back into the boiling pot once it’s cooled. Stir in 1/3 cup parmesan cheese and 1 1/2 cups marinara. Mix and set aside.
- Meanwhile, bring oil in a large pan or skillet to medium heat. Cook sausage and beef until browned and fully cooked through, about 5-7 minutes. Use the tip of your spatula to break the sausage and beef into small chunks. Season with salt and pepper, to taste and set aside.
- Take half of the pasta and layer filling the entire bottom of a 13X9 casserole dish. Layer with half of the beef and sausage mix, and then half of the ricotta cheese. Spread the ricotta with a rubber spatula, doing your best to spread thinly and evenly. It will tend to stick. It’s best to work in small dollops and spread as best you can. It does not need to be perfect!
- Repeat step 4 with the remaining ingredients. Pasta, sausage/beef, then ricotta.
- Layer top with 1 cup of marinara. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15 minutes uncovered. Remove from the oven, top with a layer of 1/4 cup parmesan cheese and all the fresh mozzarella. Bake for 20-25 additional minutes or until cheese is fully melted and starting to turn golden. Sometimes a 2-minute broil at the very end will help deliver a perfect golden singe.
- Let cool for 10 minutes, top with basil, and serve cut in squares.
This recipe calls for 1 pound of sweet Italian sausage and 1/2 a pound of ground beef. You can make the same recipe with up to 2 pounds of meat if you want a little more protein. A 50-50 split, all beef, or all sausage all works and is totally up to preference. Spice it up with some spicy Italian sausage for a delicious spicy kick.
Any straight tubular pasta will work for this recipe. Rigatoni is my favorite but ziti, penne, mezzi rigatoni, or very similar will all work too.
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 720
- Sugar: 12g
- Sodium: 1203mg
- Fat: 36.2g
- Saturated Fat: 15.4g
- Carbohydrates: 58.4
- Fiber: 4.3
- Protein: 40.1g
- Cholesterol: 105mg
Keywords: pasta al forno, baked rigatoni