Rigatoni, Cheese & Pea Casserole (Pasticcio di Rigatoni e Piselli)

Rigatoni, Cheese & Pea Casserole (Pasticcio di Rigatoni e Piselli)

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From: EatingWell Magazine, November 1997

Rich and cheesy, this pasta dish is sure to please the whole family.

Ingredients 6 servings

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Original recipe yields 6 servings
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  • ½ cup fine dry breadcrumbs, divided
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups low-fat milk, heated
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 10-ounce package frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 pound whole-wheat rigatoni, or ziti
  • 1 cup shredded fontina cheese
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese


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  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 3-quart baking dish with cooking spray. Coat dish with ¼ cup breadcrumbs, tapping out the excess. Put a pot of water on to boil for cooking pasta.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and cook, whisking constantly, for 1 to 2 minutes. Add hot milk and bring to a simmer, whisking, until smooth and slightly thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl; set aside to cool.
  3. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add peas and cook for 4 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper. Add to the milk mixture.
  4. Meanwhile, cook rigatoni (or ziti) in boiling salted water until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and rinse well. Toss with reserved sauce and vegetables. Stir in fontina.
  5. Spoon the pasta mixture into the prepared baking dish. Mix remaining ¼ cup breadcrumbs and Parmesan in a small bowl. Sprinkle evenly over the pasta.
  6. Bake pasta until golden and bubbly, 30 to 45 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 4. The pasta mixture will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Nutrition information

  • Per serving: 389 calories; 11 g fat(4 g sat); 7 g fiber; 55 g carbohydrates; 18 g protein; 36 mcg folate; 20 mg cholesterol; 8 g sugars; 985 IU vitamin A; 7 mg vitamin C; 185 mg calcium; 1 mg iron; 282 mg sodium; 192 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (20% daily value)
  • Carbohydrate Servings:
  • Exchanges: 3½ starch, 1½ high-fat meat

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