We had the pleasure of hosting two fabulous friends this week for a mid week dinner party. I absolutely love hosting people for dinner. There is something about the cooking and getting to enjoy the company of others that just makes life sparkle.
The rigatoni bake I made below was a great pick for the evening. Don’t get me wrong it’s a bit of a prep and not my first choice, however so worth it. My plan initially was to make stuffed manicotti for the evening. A little bigger shell a little easier stuffing, however after going to numerous grocery stores we were out of luck as everyone was either out of them or didn’t carry them. I wasn’t about to let this stop me so stuffed rigatoni it was.
The rigatoni bake can be made prior and put in the fridge until it’s ready to cook so you can enjoy your company. I prepped the bake ahead so I was able to enjoy time with our friends . We enjoyed a delicious cheese board and some cosmos along with some life and wedding talk all while the below rigatoni bake, baked. It was absolutely fabulous.
I hope you enjoy this bake as much as we did!
Stuffed Rigatoni Bake
-1 pound Ground Beef
Prep Time: 45 minutes
- Spoon entire container of ricotta cheese in a bowl.
- Mix in the oregano, basil and ⅛ cup finely chopped parsley.
- Place ricotta cheese filling in a quart zip lock bag.
- Cut a small hole in the corner of the zip lock bag.
- Grab a piece of uncooked rigatoni and squeeze the ricotta cheese mixture in. Place in a large bowl
- Continue to grab a rigatoni and stuff until all are filled.
- Once all Rigatoni are stuffed with ricotta cheese place the bowl of them in the fridge.
**It’s important the parsley is finely chopped in the ricotta cheese mixture or it will get stuck while pipping the rigatoni.
**You may have to pipe the rigatoni from each end to completely fill them.
- Place sliced mushrooms, diced tomatoes and minced garlic in a skillet with the 2-3 Tbsp of balsamic.
- Saute on medium heat for 5-10 minutes until the mushrooms have cooked down.
- Set aside.
Meat (skip steps if vegetarian)
- Brown the ground beef with the ½ of onion. Seasoning with salt and pepper.
**If desired you can use ground sausage or ground bison.
- Preheat oven to 400°
- Take one of the pasta sauces and place half of it on the bottom of a 9×13 glass pan.
- Sprinkle a layer of ground beef.
- Place half of the stuffed rigatoni on top of the ground beef.
- Layer all of the veggie mixture on top of the rigatoni and
- Cover veggie mixture with shredded mozzarella.
- Empty the rest of the pasta sauce on top of the mozzarella and complete another set of layers (meat, second half of stuffed rigatoni and then the remaining jar of pasta sauce.)
- Place in oven for approximately 1 hour.
- When rigatoni bake is finished cooking sprinkle the parmesan cheese on and broil until desired cheese melting.
- Serve with french bread, the remaining parsley and if desired sprinkle fresh parmesan on top.
**Red wine is used to rinse out the pasta sauce jars. Once pasta sauce jar seems to be empty place ¼ cup red wine in and swish around. Dump red wine/sauce mixture into the pasta bake.
**To ensure your oven stays clean place a cookie sheet under the pasta bake in case any of the pasta sauce would bubble too much.