Baked Rigatoni & Meatballs

by byn on January 8, 2012

in Pasta & Noodles

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On a Sunday night in January, what more could you ask for? I’m such a sucker for baked pasta, and this has everything: tasty meatballs mixed with veggie loaded tomato sauce and pasta, covered with cheese. I actually made this back in November, but I so wish I was having this for dinner tonight. My only problem is that it’s nowhere near a one-pot meal, but I’ll let that go since it’s so good. I’m basically just posting this here to remind myself to make it again.

Note: Vegetarian? This recipe has an equally delicious cousin in the archives.

Baked Rigatoni & Meatballs

Source: Canadian Living, November 2007 (procrastinate much?)

Yield: 4 servings, easily doubled to serve more.

Ingredients

Meatballs

1 egg

1/4 cup dry bread crumbs

1/4 cup grated onion

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/4 each salt & pepper

1 lb ground beef or turkey

Sauce

1 tbsp olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 small carrot, finely chopped

1 stalk celery, finely chopped

1 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms

1 red or yellow pepper, chopped

1 tsp dried oregano

1/4 each salt & pepper

1 can (28oz) diced tomatoes

2 tbsp tomato paste

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

2 cups rigatoni pasta

1 cup grated mozzarella

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. For meatballs, first get a baking sheet out and line it with tin foil. Set a rack over top, and spray with non-stick spray. In a big bowl, combine everything except beef, then add beef and get in there and mix with your hands. Shape into balls, and place on the rack. Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes until browned and cooked through.
  2. For tomato sauce, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, and add onion, garlic, carrot, celery, mushrooms, red pepper, oregano, salt and pepper until vegetables are softened about 10 minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes and tomato paste, stirring to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the meatballs and balsamic vinegar to the sauce and simmer until thickened, 5 more minutes.
  4. Cook your pasta according to package directions, drain and add to sauce. Toss everything together. (You can eat at this point, but the next step takes it over the top).
  5. Transfer pasta mixture to a big baking dish. Sprinkle with cheeses and bake at 375 for about 30 minutes until the cheese is bubbly.

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