Rigatoni & Spicy Sausage Casserole

Rigatoni & Spicy Sausage Casserole

4 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, January/February 1996

Mushrooms have the perfect meaty texture to complement a modest amount of spicy Italian sausage in this baked rigatoni that has less than one-quarter the fat of the original. Whole-wheat pasta rather than white pasta makes our version a fiber powerhouse with 7 grams per serving. This delicious and cheesy pasta casserole freezes well so you might want to make an extra to have on hand for a ready-to-heat-and-eat meal.

Ingredients 6 servings

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  • 4 ounces hot Italian sausage, (2 links)
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon crumbled dried rosemary
  • 2 14-ounce cans diced tomatoes, or plum tomatoes (chopped)
  • ¼ cup dry red or white wine
  • ½ teaspoon salt, divided
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 12 ounces whole-wheat rigatoni, mostaccioli or penne
  • ½ cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • ¾ cup fresh breadcrumbs, preferably whole-wheat (see Tip)
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a 3-quart shallow baking dish with cooking spray. Put a large pot of water on to boil.
  2. Crumble sausage into a large nonstick skillet (discard casing) and cook over medium heat, stirring, until browned and cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.
  3. Wipe out the pan and add oil; heat over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add mushrooms and rosemary; cook, stirring, until the mushrooms begin to give off liquid, about 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes (and their juices), wine and the cooked sausage. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes. (The sauce will be quite thin.) Season with ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper.
  4. Meanwhile, cook pasta until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes or according to package directions. Drain.
  5. Add the pasta to the sauce; toss to coat. Spread half in the prepared baking dish. Dot with spoonfuls of ricotta and top with the remaining pasta. Cover with foil. Bake for 20 minutes.
  6. Combine breadcrumbs and Parmesan in a small bowl. Season with the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the pasta and continue to bake, uncovered, until the top is golden, about 10 minutes more.
  • Tip: To make fresh breadcrumbs, trim crusts from whole-wheat bread. Tear bread into pieces and process in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. One slice of bread makes about ½ cup fresh crumbs.

Nutrition information

  • Per serving: 367 calories; 8 g fat(2 g sat); 7 g fiber; 55 g carbohydrates; 19 g protein; 32 mcg folate; 21 mg cholesterol; 8 g sugars; 119 IU vitamin A; 3 mg vitamin C; 112 mg calcium; 1 mg iron; 304 mg sodium; 222 mg potassium
  • Carbohydrate Servings:
  • Exchanges: 3½ starch, 1 vegetable, ½ medium-fat meat, 1 fat

Reviews 4

August 01, 2011
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By: blum_amy
Not the best recipe It was blah and took along time to make. It's not worth the effort for such a blah meal. I will not make this again which will make my husband and son very happy. Cons: too much of breadcrumbs/pasta. Too little sausage
August 23, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
I'm with the first reviewer, 12 oz of uncooked pasta was WAY too much. I also seasoned about 10 oz lean ground beef and used it in place of the sausage (4 oz? really, eatingwell?) and upped the tomatoes because I LOVE THEM. Give this one a try, it's a pretty good recipe. Just be sure to tweak it to your tastes.
June 30, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
I thought this was a really good make ahead casserole. I added more seasoning (extra garlic, basil, etc). My only confusion was that the receipe calls for 12 oz of pasta. I assumed that was uncooked and since I wanted to reduce the servings to 4 I used 6 oz of uncooked pasta. This recipe made a HUGE amount of food. Now I'm wondering if the recipe actually meant 12 oz of cooked pasta? If that's the case then I actually made 6 servings.
January 25, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
I made a few changes when I made this recipe. The biggest change was that I added 16 oz. of spicy sausage instead of 4 oz which just seemed like not enough at all. This made the sauce a lot thicker. This may have been the reason that it was a little dry. I also added oregano, basil, and extra garlic. It had a great flavor and if I make it again I will add more tomato sauce.
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