Baked Italian Sausage Rigatoni

The extra 20 minutes of baking time are well worth the wait for this comforting pasta dish

Credit: Gerilee McBride

This baked sausage rigatoni works as both tonight’s dinner and tomorrow’s lunch

Bring comfort to your day with a hearty plate of baked sausage rigatoni

This recipe is an original from my husband, who has spent time perfecting it. I tend to gravitate toward stir-frys, so I was skeptical about taking this on at first. But I soon realized that it’s pretty much in the same family as the stir-fry, as all the ingredients end up in one delicious simmering pot. The only notable difference is the additional cooking time when the dish goes into the oven, but you’ll find it’s well worth the wait when you take that first bite of lovely baked goodness.

Serves 6 with enough left over for lunch the next day.


  • 6 links of Italian sausages, 3 hot and 3 mild (from Cioffi’s Meat Market & Deli), chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced in large chunks
  • 1 each red and green peppers (use only half of each if they are large), cut into strips and then halved
  • 1 tsp each dried basil and oregano
  • 1 large (28 oz.) can of whole Italian plum tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 5 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 1 lb. box of rigatoni
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup Mozzarella cheese, grated
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated


  1. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium high heat. Add sausage and fry until brown and cooked halfway through.
  2. Add onions to the sausage in the pan and cook until soft —around 5 minutes.
  3. Add peppers to sausage and onions and cook for 2 more minutes.
  4. Reduce heat to medium and sprinkle basil and oregano over sausage, onion and pepper mixture. Mix to coat.
  5. In a large bowl empty the can of Italian plum tomatoes. Squish the tomatoes in your hands until there is a chunky soupy like mixture. Add the squished tomatoes to the sausage, onion and pepper mixture. Reduce heat to simmer.
  6. Add tomato paste and crushed garlic and mix thoroughly.
  7. Salt to taste, keeping in mind that the sausage may be salty as well as the cheese, which is added later.
  8. Let simmer on low for 15 to 20 minutes for flavours to combine.
  9. Preheat oven to 400F.
  10. Bring to boil a large pot of salted water, add box of pasta and cook until just before al dente (do not overcook pasta or it will turn to mush in the oven after baking).
  11. Drain pasta and, using the same large pot, add the tomato sausage mixture to the pasta and stir until pasta is coated with sauce.
  12. Pour pasta mixture into a small roasting pan, sprinkle top with grated Mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.
  13. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes or until cheese is golden and bubbly. Serve with grated parmesan and a few sprigs of parsley.

Gerilee McBride is a Vancouver-based writer and designer working in the BC publishing industry. When not reading or writing she can be found biking, gardening or re-upholstering old office furniture. She also blogs about these things at