My kids love meatballs with rigatoni or spaghetti. The baked cheese sauce in this recipe just takes it over the top!—Jennifer Ross, Clinton, Ohio
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 3/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 4-1/2 teaspoons each minced fresh thyme, oregano and basil or 1-1/2 teaspoons each dried thyme, oregano and basil
- 1-1/2 teaspoons pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1-1/2 pounds ground beef
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/3 cup dry red wine or beef broth
- 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
- 12 ounces uncooked rigatoni or large tube pasta
- ALFREDO TOPPING:
- 1/4 cup butter, cubed
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups half-and-half cream
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano or 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- In a large bowl, combine egg, bread crumbs, water, cheese and seasonings. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into 1-1/2-in. balls. In a Dutch oven, brown meatballs in oil in batches; remove and keep warm.
- Drain, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings. In drippings, saute onion until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Add wine; cook and stir 3 minutes.
- Return meatballs to pan; stir in tomatoes and parsley. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 25-30 minutes or until meat is no longer pink.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°. Cook rigatoni according to package directions.
- In a small saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour until smooth; gradually add cream. Bring to a boil; cook and stir 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese.
- Drain rigatoni; place in a large bowl. Add meatballs and sauce; stir to coat. Transfer to a greased 13x9-in. baking dish.
- Top with Alfredo sauce; sprinkle with thyme, oregano and remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake, uncovered, 20-25 minutes or until bubbly. Yield: 6 servings.
Originally published as Meatball Rigatoni Alfredo in Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2008, p48
Full-Bodied White Wine
Enjoy this recipe with a full-bodied white wine such as Chardonnay or Viognier.
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Reviewed Jan. 13, 2014
"I use alfredo sauce from jar rather than making own."