Simple Cheesy Baked Rigatoni with Meatballs


Simple Cheesy Baked Rigatoni

I let my kids pick their birthday dinner each year.  My son asked for pasta and sauce.  His sister was totally annoyed,  “He wants spaghetti and sauce? I am planning on a German dinner with braised red cabbage, German potato salad and brats with sauerkraut.  He wants spaghetti?”  She was not impressed in the least.

I came up with a compromise, slightly fancy pasta and sauce.  The tough part of making a Cheesy Baked Rigatoni for him is that he hates ricotta cheese.  To me, that is the reason to have pasta and sauce.  So, I went the easy way out.

Verdict:

My son loved this.  I made one with regular pasta and one with gluten-free pasta.  With a side of green beans and a simple green salad this meal was a hit.

There was enough for the kids to take for lunches in their thermoses.  Thankfully, they both love leftover dinners for lunch.

Thought this is not something I would regularly serve it was nice to have a quick simple meal to have on the table within 35 minutes after the pasta boiled.

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz pasta
  • 2 jars pasta sauce, pick your favorite or make a simple homemade one
  • 16 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 lb. mini meatballs, frozen (I used gluten-free)
  • Additional Parmesan cheese for serving if desired

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 13″ x 9″ casserole dish with non-stick spray.
  2. Boil pasta according to package directions to slightly al dente.  You want it to be slightly chewy, not overcooked.
  3. Drain pasta and return to pot.
  4. Add 1 1/2 jars of pasta sauce, frozen meatballs and Parmesan cheese to pasta and stir well.
  5. Pour remaining pasta sauce in the bottom of the prepared casserole dish.  Spread evenly to cover the bottom.
  6. Add 1/2 the pasta, meatball and sauce mixture to the casserole dish.  spread evenly over the dish.
  7. Take 1 cup of shredded Mozzarella and sprinkle evenly over the pasta in the casserole dish.
  8. Add remaining pasta to casserole dish and top with remaining mozzarella cheese.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes.
  10. Remove pan from oven and allow to rest 3-5 minutes before serving.

 

2 Comments Add yours

  1. kissmybunnybutt says:

    Om nom noms! 😀

    Like

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