It’s time again for the recipe swaps!! This time around it’s ‘Blogger’s Choice’ meaning you’re assigned a blog and choose a recipe that sounds great to you.
I was given Kate’s blog and found quite a few that I’d like to make but ultimately picked this one. It sounded great for fall, easy to make and nice for a weekend dinner in. It was a huge hit with everyone who tasted it. I lightened up the recipe a bit by using chicken sausage and part skim mozzarella.
I don’t know who thought to put the garlic bread on top of the pasta under the cheese but I’d like to meet them and give them a hug. What a SUPER idea!!
Baked Rigatoni with Sausage
- 1.5 lbs. sweet Italian chicken sausage
- 8 oz rigatoni, dry, then cooked al dente
- 4 tbsp olive oil plus 1 tsp separated
- 1/4 cup onion, chopped small
- 1-2 cloves garlic
- 1 26oz can marinara sauce (I used Trader Giotto’s) or use homemade
- 1 tbsp fresh basil chopped, plus 8 whole fresh leaves
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus 3 tbsp
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 10 oz frozen garlic bread loaf, defrosted
- 3 cups part-skim mozzarella cheese, grated
- 2 Roma tomatoes, cut into 8 even slices.
- Cook the sausage and slice into thin coins. Set aside.
- Heat a large sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add the 1 tsp olive oil. When hot add the onion and cook for a few minutes to soften. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Reduce heat to low and add the marinara sauce. Let it heat, stirring occasionally, for a few minutes to incorporate the flavors.
- Grease a 9×13 baking dish.
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- In a large mixing bowl combine the cooked sausage, cooked pasta, sauce, 1 tbsp basil, pepper and the 1/2 cup Parmesan. Stir it gently to evenly coat everything.
- Gently pour the mixture into the prepared dish.
- Make 6 even slices through the garlic bread (resulting in 12 halves top/bottom slices). Using the non-ends line 4 pieces over one half of the pasta and the other 4 pieces over the other half to have 2 rows. Sprinkle the remaining 3 tbsp of Parmesan over the bread. Sprinkle the mozzarella evenly over the bread and exposed areas of pasta.
- Place the 4 tbsp of olive oil in a shallow dish. Gently dip each tomato slice in and coat it with the oil. Shake off the excess and place one tomato slice on top of each piece of bread.
- Bake, uncovered, for about 15-25 minutes until cheese is melty and bubbly. It only took about 15 minutes for me.
- Remove the pan and gently tip up one of the tomato slices and slide one of the remaining full basil leaves underneath it. Repeat with each tomato.
- Allow the dish to set for about 10 minutes.
- Slice and serve.
Note: I sprinkled some more grated Parmesan on the 4 end pieces of the bread, wrapped them in foil and heated them in the oven with the pasta.
Makes 8-10 servings.
Adapted from http://www.katerecipebox.com/2011/09/26/baked-ziti-with-sausage/