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Rigatoni & Spicy Sausage Casserole

January/February 1996

Your rating: None Average: 3.8 (17 votes)

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.



READER'S COMMENT:
"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...
Rigatoni & Spicy Sausage Casserole Recipe

Makes: 6 servings

Active Time:

Total Time:

Ingredients

  • 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)
  • 1/4 cup dry red or white wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 12 ounces whole-wheat rigatoni, mostaccioli or penne
  • 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 3/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs, preferably whole-wheat (see Tip)
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preparation

  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 1/4 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 1/4 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.

Tips & Notes

  • 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 1/2 cup fresh crumbs.

Nutrition

Per serving: 392 calories; 12 g fat (4 g sat, 4 g mono); 24 mg cholesterol; 53 g carbohydrates; 19 g protein; 7 g fiber; 446 mg sodium; 266 mg potassium.

Carbohydrate Servings: 3

Exchanges: 3 starch, 1 1/2 vegetable, 1/2 lean meat, 1/2 medium fat meat



More From EatingWell

Recipe Categories

Ethnic/Regional
Italian
Mediterranean
Servings
6
Main Ingredient
Pork
Preparation/ Technique
Bake
Saute
Meal/Course
Dinner

Season
Spring
Fall
Winter
Holiday
Super Bowl
Ease of Preparation
Easy
Total Time
1 hour or less
Publication
January/February 1996

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