Rigatoni Al Forno

baked rigatoni al forno with fresh basil sprinkled on top

5 from 1 reviews

Rigatoni al Forno (Italian for a Baked Rigatoni) is great when you're craving a comforting lasagna but want something easier to make. Mix up the flavorful meat sauce then toss with pasta, some cheese for creaminess, and bake in the oven.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small white or yellow onion, diced
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 2 28 ounce cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon white granulated sugar
  • 1 lb rigatoni pasta
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1/4-1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Thinly sliced fresh basil, optional for garnish


  1. Make Meat Sauce - Heat a large pot or dutch oven over medium-high with the olive oil and add the onion. Cook until softened then add the ground beef and a pinch of salt and pepper, to taste. Cook the beef, while crumbling, until almost fully cooked. Add the tomato paste, garlic, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes. Cook for another minute or two. Then add the crushed tomatoes, sugar, and another pinch of salt. Be sure to scrape any bits off the bottom of the pan.
  2. Simmer Sauce - Bring the sauce to a simmer, lower the heat, and allow to simmer, uncovered, for at least 15 minutes while you cook the pasta.
  3. Cook Pasta - While the sauce simmers, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and get a large pot of salted water boiling. Once boiling, cook the pasta for 2 minutes less than al dente so it still has a good bite to it. It will finish cooking in the oven.
  4. Fold Pasta into Sauce - Drain the pasta and add back to the large pasta pot and add the meat sauce. (if your sauce pot is large enough you can add the pasta directly to the sauce instead, turn off the heat). Add the ricotta cheese and half of the shredded mozzarella. Fold together so everything is evenly mixed.
  5. Add to Baking Dish - Spray a 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray and pour in the rigatoni mixture. Spread out evenly and sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella cheese and Parmesan Cheese.
  6. Bake - Bake for about 30 minutes until the cheese is melted, lightly golden, and the sauce is bubbling around the edges. If the cheese is getting too brown before the sauce is bubbling around the edges, you can loosely cover with foil.
  7. Serve and Enjoy - Allow to cool for 10 minutes before sprinkling with chopped fresh basil and serving.


Baked leftovers can be stored, covered, in the fridge for up to 4 days. I recommend reheating in a 350 degrees oven (covered with foil), for about 30 minutes or until warmed.


Keywords: Rigatoni Al Forno, Baked Rigatoni