Mom's Baked Rigatoni

This used to be one of my favorite meals when I was growing up. It's one of those dishes with lots of room for improvisation. The basic recipe combines ground beef, onions, garlic, tomatoes, Italian herbs, tomato sauce, pasta and cheese. We like to bake it until it is crunchy on top but you can bake it less if you like the pasta softer.
Recipe By: Barb Bowman
  • Prep20 min |
  • Total45 min |
  • Serves 6


    • 1 pound ground beef
    • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
    • 1 clove garlic, chopped
    • 1 each 14.5 ounce can whole or diced tomatoes
    • 8 ounce can tomato sauce
    • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning (combination of oregano, basil, rosemary, marjoram, thyme)
    • 1 pound whole wheat rigatoni (I like Gia Russa, or Bionaturae)
    • 1 - salt and pepper to taste
    • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
    • 2 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, grated
    • 2 ounces cheddar cheese, grated


Preheat Oven To 400F Brown the ground beef in a large non-stick pan or Dutch oven. Add the onion and the garlic and cook until the onion is transparent.

Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce and seasonings. Keep the mixture at a low simmer. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste. Cook the pasta according to the package directions, usually about 11 minutes for whole wheat. I actually under cook it by a minute or two given it will cook more when baked. Drain well.

Combine the sauce and pasta in a large bowl and stir gently until well incorporated.xx Butter the bottom and sides of a 13 x 9 glass or enameled casserole. Pour the mixture into the pan and top with the cheeses.

Note: You can substitute ground turkey or a mixture of sausage and ground beef. Use any cheese you like, we typically use whatever we have in the refrigerator but we always include Parmesan.

Bake casserole for about 25 minutes, uncovered until top is nicely browned.

Recipes From - The Gourmet Food And Cooking Resource