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Four-Cheese Sausage Rigatoni

To make this twist on traditional baked pasta, we start with creamy goat cheese and build from there with mozzarella, ricotta and Parmesan cheese. —Teresa Ralston, New Albany, Ohio
  • Total Time
    Prep: 35 min. Bake: 30 min.
  • Makes
    12 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 package (16 ounces) rigatoni pasta
  • 1 pound bulk Italian sausage
  • 1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes in puree
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 carton (15 ounces) whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 log (4 ounces) fresh goat cheese, softened
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cubed
  • Torn fresh basil, optional

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°. In a 6-qt. stockpot, cook rigatoni according to package directions. Drain; transfer to a bowl.
  • In same stockpot, cook and crumble sausage with red pepper and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Drain. Add cream; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, Italian seasoning and pepper flakes. Cook, uncovered, over medium-low heat until sauce thickens slightly, 5-8 minutes. Meanwhile, combine ricotta, 1/2 cup Parmesan, goat cheese, egg and seasonings.
  • Stir rigatoni into meat sauce. Spread 3 cups into each of two greased 11x7-in. baking dishes. Top each with half of cheese mixture, then half of remaining pasta mixture.
  • Bake, covered, 25 minutes. Sprinkle with mozzarella and remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake, uncovered, until cheeses are melted, about 5 minutes. If desired, sprinkle with basil.
    Freeze option: Prepare casseroles without mozzarella cheese and remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese; freeze cheeses separately in resealable plastic freezer bags. Cover and freeze unbaked casseroles. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake casseroles as directed, increasing time as necessary to heat through and for a thermometer inserted in center to read 165°. If desired, sprinkle with basil.
Nutrition Facts
1-1/4 cups: 474 calories, 26g fat (13g saturated fat), 97mg cholesterol, 793mg sodium, 40g carbohydrate (9g sugars, 3g fiber), 23g protein.

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Reviews

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Average Rating:
  • Butcher2boy
    Oct 22, 2017

    Suburb! Froze half of it for it's just us 2. It was just as good as when I made this fresh. I didn't change a thing.

  • ejshellabarger
    Jan 13, 2017

    We loved this recipe (we did leave out the goat cheese because I'm not a big fan). It does have a bit of a kick but my almost 2 year old ate it without a problem! I made it ahead and it turned out great after being frozen!

  • NH-rescue
    Nov 1, 2016

    The cheese blend - especially the addition of goat cheese - takes this beyond the standard cheese and pasta dish. Easy to make. We substituted green pepper for the sweet red pepper and it worked just as well. Could also be spiced up a bit using fire-roasted crushed tomatoes.

  • curlylis85
    Oct 23, 2016

    This is a huge favorite for our family! Cheese, pasta, and Italian sausage make for great comfort food. I did the freezer option and the frozen pasta cooked up perfectly!

  • ReneeMurby
    Sep 18, 2016

    Delish! Loved the addition of goat cheese. Great family dinner.

  • pajamaangel
    Sep 12, 2016

    This pasta dish was delicious! I followed the recipe exactly including the goat cheese which I was a little hesitant to use, but it was amazing!!!

  • cynandtom
    Aug 22, 2016

    Hubby and I are pasta makin and lovin people. What's not to love? Cheesy, meaty goodness. The only changes I made were adding ground beef and omitting the goat cheese (not a big fan) and substituting extra ricotta. DELICIOUSl

  • Shufreak2003
    Aug 18, 2016

    My husband is usually the cook in our house, but this looked fairly easy so I made it tonight. I followed the directions to the letter except that I omitted the mozzarella since I'm not a huge fan of it. It was SOO good and my husband, who is not a big cheese fan, loved it as well. This is definitely a keeper. Thanks for sharing.