lunch box, main courses, make ahead / reheat, pasta

Baked Rigatoni

Baked Rigatoni-2.png

I made this dish because I wanted something easy to reheat for lunch throughout the week. I don’t have a toaster oven at work, so anything I make for reheating needs to be something that microwaves well. This dish turned out to be great reheated. Sometimes I needed to add a little water to the dish to make sure the sauce didn’t get too dry, but my pasta to sauce ratio was a little off (I corrected the proportions for this post, so there should be plenty of sauce.)


1 onion, cut into large pieces
4 cloves garlic, chopped
½ cup red wine
½ tsp thyme
¼ tsp celery seed
¾ lb Italian sausage
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp kosher salt
28oz can crushed tomatoes
14oz can petite diced tomatoes
30oz ricotta cheese (you might have some left over afterward)
Shredded or fresh mozzarella (or both!)
1 lb mini rigatoni (dry)


Break Italian sausage into small pieces and cook. Set aside.

Add wine, onion, and garlic to blender or food processor. Process until the onions and garlic are pureed. Heat a medium to large saucepan over medium heat. Add all of the ingredients (including the Italian sausage that was set aside) except for the rigatoni. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and let simmer for at least 30 minutes.

Prepare rigatoni according to package instructions.

I recommend using deep baking dishes for this recipe to get multiple layers. You could also use a lasagna pan Spoon one layer of sauce on the bottom of the pan. Add a single layer of pasta, followed by sauce, ricotta, and mozzarella. Repeat order of ingredients until pan is full.

Bake at 350° until cheese on top is fully melted.

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