Pasta dishes are a favorite go-to for weeknight meals. In most cases they don’t take that long to prepare, and I can easily grab a jar of marinara sauce at the store. I know, I know, I’d much rather prepare my own marinara sauce, but sometimes I just need something I can grab and make-do with. The noble thing to do would be to make homemade sauce on a Saturday or Sunday and keep it in the fridge until I needed it later in the week. But, I didn’t.
And, this recipe uses 2 jars of sauce. It’s much more economical to use your own homemade sauce for this recipe, but honestly, this does feed a lot, so if you compare the cost of 2 jars of marinara, some pasta and some cheese and divide it by 4, you’re still doing well on producing an economical meal.
I was originally inspired by a skillet baked stuffed rigatoni recipe I found online.
But seriously. WHO HAS THE TIME TO STUFF ALL OF THESE RIGATONI. I do not know how anyone could find that worthy of their time. Part skim ricotta cheese is not creamy enough to be stuffed into these little shells. It doesn’t help that I don’t have real pasty-stuffing bags or nozzles, and while Ziploc bags can fill-in, they don’t always work that great. This was one of those cases.
So, instead of stuffing them, I just dabbed bits of ricotta and mozzarella and let it melt onto the rigatoni.
Much, much better.
A few notes on this recipe:
- If you make this in a cast iron skillet, wash the skillet soon after you cook with it. The tomato can react with the skillet and cause rust.
- I didn’t use about 1 cup of the cooked rigatoni, because I just didn’t need it. I had two full layers of pasta, which is plenty.
- Leftovers reheat well!
Skillet Baked Rigatoni
Makes 4-6 servings
- 1 box of rigatoni
- 8 oz part skim ricotta cheese
- 1 cup + 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- Pinch of salt and pepper
- Pinch of dried parsley flakes
- 4-5 cups of marinara sauce (about 2 store-bought jars)
Boil the rigatoni and cook until al dente, 8 minutes or so.
Meanwhile, mix your ricotta, mozzarella, garlic powder, onion powder, a good pinch of parsley flakes, salt and pepper. Mix with a spoon to combine – it will seem lumpy but will come together if you keep working at it.
Drain the pasta and return it to the pot.
In a large cast iron skillet, coat the bottom with 1 – 1 1/2 cups of marinara sauce.
Start lining up the rotini in a circle. This is the most time consuming part, and the noodles are slippery, but it’s worth it.
Add the cheese to the skillet by just dropping small amounts of it all around until it’s fairly covered. This can be determined by how much you like cheese.
Top with about 2 cups of marinara sauce. Continue lining up the rotini until completely covered.
Add more cheese.
Pour 1 cup of marinara sauce on top. Add a few more pinches of parsley flakes, and top with the remaining 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese.
Place the skillet in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese has melted through and it’s bubbly and hot.
- 4 slices of Tracy’s sourdough bread (make your own or grab your favorite loaf at the store)
- 3 tbps butter
- Pinch of parsley flakes
- 1/4 tsp garlic salt
In a small saucepan, head the butter, parsley flakes and garlic salt over medium heat. Brush on top of the bread and cook on a griddle pan for 2 minutes per side, adding more butter to the flip side.
Isn’t that some good lookin’ bread?