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Baked Rigatoni with Bolognese Meat Sauce

March 9, 2010

I love baked pastas. There is something so comforting and simple about a baked pasta. The crunch of the crisped top and the gooey cheese simmering underneath = so good! The only problem is all the dishes that are left for my taste-tester/dishwasher to clean (thank you, Will!). So, of course, I had to look for a baked pasta from Marcella this week. Her Baked Rigatoni with Bolognese Meat Sauce is delicious. It has a slight recollection to Bolognese lasagna with its combination of a Bolognese meat sauce with a Bechamel sauce, although it doesn’t have all the nuances of lasagna since it lacks the homemade pasta and mozzarella cheese. It is, however, altogether delicious, soothing, and comforting, especially on a cold, blustery day.

Just a note: Use rigatoni or penne, as these tubular pastas are best for catching the sauce in their tubes and holding all those flavors in.

Baked Rigatoni with Bolognese Meat Sauce

From Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking

Ingredients:

1-1/2 lbs. rigatoni pasta

salt

Bolognese Meat Sauce

A medium-thick Bechamel Sauce

6 Tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Butter for dotting the top

Directions:

Preheat the over to 400 degrees.

Cook the rigatoni in abundant, boiling salted water. Drain when exceptionally firm, a shade less cooked than al dente because it will undergo additional cooking in the oven. Transfer to a mixing bowl.

Add the meat sauce, bechamel, and 4 Tablespoons grated Parmesan to the pasta. Toss thoroughly to coat the pasta well and distribute the sauces uniformly.

Lightly smear the baking dish with butter. Put in the entire contents of the bowl, leveling it with a spatula. Top with 2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan and dot with butter. Put the dish on the uppermost rack of the preheated over and bake for 10 minutes, until a little bit of a crust forms on top. After taking it out of the over, allow the pasta to settle for a few minutes before bringing it to the table.

Serve and enjoy!

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