Cheesy Baked Rigatoni

IMG_2490I have been posting a lot of pasta dishes lately and its for one reason… pasta is delicious and easy. Maybe its because I have some Italian blood in me as well but I just can’t resist a plate of pasta with a big glass of red wine! Since I always love cooking for crowds and since I’m pretty bored with lasagna I decided it was time to play with a new recipe that is good for a group. I also made this recipe for the first time because I have a friend that loves (and I mean LOVES) sour cream and I knew this would be right up her alley.

I know it sounds a little odd to add sour cream to a pasta recipe but it makes the sauce extra creamy and amazing! The recipe also calls for 3 different kinds of cheese which makes it gooey and melty and everything you’d ever want in a pasta bake. There is no need to spend lots of time on a yummy meal and that is what I love about this recipe! Everything can be prepared in about 15 minutes and then all you have to do is throw it in the oven for 30 minutes to let all the cheese melt and presto… Dinner is ready!

Cheesy Baked Rigatoni (Serves 6-8)

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound dry rigatoni pasta
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 1 pound ground Italian sausage (mild or spicy depending on your taste!)
  • 2 26oz jars sweet basil spaghetti sauce
  • 6-8 slices provolone cheese
  • 16 oz ball fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9×13 baking dish and set aside. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and add the pasta. Cook for 8 minutes until al dente- do not cook for as long as you normally would, you want the pasta to have a little crunch so it does not get soggy when you bake it!
  2. In a large skillet cook the sausage and onion until brown. Once the sausage is totally cooked, add both jars of pasta sauce and allow to simmer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes remove the mixture from the heat and carefully stir in the sour cream.
  3. Layer half the drained/cooked pasta into the bottom of the pan and top with half the sauce mixture. Layer 6-8 slices of provolone cheese on top. Layer remaining pasta, and remaining sauce and spread evenly. Lay slices of fresh mozzarella on top and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Enjoy!
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