February 12, 2008

Baked Rigatoni

Baking your pasta is a great way to enjoy the pleasures of Italian flavors. The most famous baked pasta in Italy and abroad is lasagna, but as you know you can bake every type of pasta, from Mac&Cheese to my baked rigatoni. Usually when you bake pasta you use more cheese and other ingredients that make the dish richer. That's why Italians often consider a baked pasta dish as a piatto unico or main dish, and not only as a primo or starter, which is the usual Italian way of eating pasta.

1 pound rigatoni
2 summer squash, sliced
1 cup portobello mushrooms, chopped
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 1/2 cups tomato sauce
1 1/2 cup bocconcini cheese
1 small bunch basil
2 tsp peperoncino
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
Salt, pepper

Heat the olive oil and the butter in a large skillet over medium temperature until the butter is melted. Make a soffritto with the garlic and peperoncino, then add the chopped mushrooms and the sliced summer squash. Cook your pasta reducing in 2 minutes the total cooking time you read on the package, drain and toss over the skillet. Add the tomatoes, the bocconcini, chopped basil leaves, a touch of olive oil, salt and pepper and stir. Cover with fresh grated parmesan cheese and put the skillet in a 450°F preheated oven and broil for about 10 minutes until golden brown.

Tip: bocconcini are tiny little balls of fresh mozzarella.
Posted by Daziano at 2:47 PM |  


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