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Dinner

Cheesy Baked Rigatoni with Lamb Ragu

We've elevated the humble pasta bake to Sunday supper-worthy fare by using lamb instead of beef and swapping out the mozzarella often found on casseroles for Fontina, a mild, buttery, semi-soft cheese with a slight nuttiness. Substitute ground lamb for lean sausage or ground beef depending on your current taste bud needs.

Servings
10
Prep Time
35 min
Cook Time
25 min
Duration
60 min

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 8 oz white or cremini mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12 oz ground lamb, lean sausage or ground beef
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp each sea salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 cups jarred unsalted pureed strained tomatoes (aka passata)
  • 1/4 dry red wine
  • 1 lb whole grain rigatoni (or any larger tube pasta like elicoidali, paccheri or tortiglioni)
  • 1/2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup coarsely grated (or tom) Fontina cheese
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary, optional

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Mist a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.

2. In a large saucepan (at least 3 qt), heat oil on medium-high. Add onion and sauté, stirring often, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and sauté until beginning to brown, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

3. Add lamb, oregano, salt and pepper and cook, breaking up with back of spoon, until browned, 7 to 9 minutes. Add tomatoes and wine; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 12 to 15 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, bring a separate large saucepan of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook al dente according to package directions. Drain and stir into lamb mixture.

5. Scrape into prepared baking dish. Using a teaspoon, dollop ricotta evenly over top; stir gently to incorporate into pasta. Sprinkle with Fontina. Cover loosely with foil and bake until cheese is bubbly, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven.

6. Arrange 1 oven rack in top third of oven; preheat broiler to high. Transfer dish to top rack; broil until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle with rosemary (if using).

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size 1 1/2 cups
  • Calories 339
  • Carbohydrate Content 38 g
  • Cholesterol Content 44 mg
  • Fat Content 14 g
  • Fiber Content 5 g
  • Protein Content 18 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 7 g
  • Sodium Content 229 mg
  • Sugar Content 4 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat Content 5 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat Content 1 g