There’s something about the colder months that makes me crave ALL the comforts foods. Not only soups and stews, but cheesy and satisfying pasta dishes. Especially those that are easy to put together for a quick weekday dinner. In comes one of our favourite pasta dishes at home. A hearty and flavourful Baked Rigatoni with Arrabbiata sauce and Friulano.
Friulano is one of those cheeses that’s always present on my cheeseboards and I’ll tell you why. It has a delicate mild flavour that goes well with pretty much everything you pair it with. From spicy red pepper jelly, apricot preserves, fruit and nuts, Friulano is a must for holiday entertaining. Aditionally, when you add it to pasta, Friulano simply melts to perfection. And that’s what makes this Baked rigatoni, a recipe my family loves.
So Today, I want to share with you how to make it and I hope that soon it also becomes a favourite meal in your home as well. This Baked Rigatoni with Arrabbiata and Friulano has so many layers of flavour, a kick from the chili flakes in the arrabbiata sauce, and the smoothness of Saputo’s Friulano cheese.
How to make Oven Baked Rigatoni
One of the things that I love the most about this recipe, is how easy it is to make. To make things even better, it doesn’t require too many ingredients. Here’s what you need.
You can choose any short pasta you like. However, I recommend rigatoni as its tubular shape, allows for the sauce (and cheese!) to get in the pasta noodles, which is ideal when baking the pasta. Penne is another great option as well. One thing to always keep in mind, is that you want the pasta to be al dente, because it will continue to cook for a few more minutes in the oven.
Marinara could be an option here, but nothing beats a hearty and homemade arrabbiata with a little heat from the red pepper flakes. The recipe calls for 1 1/2 teaspoons, but you can add little bit less (or more) depending on how spicy you want it. Additionally , the garlic and basil give the sauce such wonderful aroma!
I love supporting Canadian farmers who take so much pride in local cheeses, while being inspired by other countries as well. Saputo’s inspiration for their incredibly delicious Friulano cheese, comes from the Friuli region of northern Italy. However, Saputo’s Friulano cheese is only produced in Canada. As it ages, its flavours become more complex (like all good things in life!) And in this Baked Rigatoni with Arrabbiata and Friulano, those delicious flavours simply shine.
A touch of fresh basil in the sauce is key. Alternatively, you could use oregano or parsley. Any herb you use will not only give your arrabbiata sauce a wonderful aroma, but a more intense depth of flavour.
A Little Extra
If you want to add a handful of greens to this recipe, baby spinach or broccoli are both great options. You could even fold in a bit of Pistachio pesto! I personally think that either would be delicious and most importantly, nutritious. To sum things up, this is a recipe that’s great for a night when you are looking for a comforting meal and don’t want to spend more than 35 minutes in the kitchen. Its deeply satisfying, super simple to make, and it oozes with Friulano. And guess what? It even taste better the day after! that’s why I always make a little extra. Heaven in a plate.
Baked Rigatoni with Arrabbiata Sauce and Friulano
1/4 Cup Extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 large Spanish onion, chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chili flakes
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, tightly packed and chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, tightly packed and chopped
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- pinch of freshly ground pepper
- 3 cans(400 grams each) crushed tomatoes
- 400 grams Rigatoni pasta
- 2 cups grated Friulano cheese
- 8 to 10 thins slices of Friulano cheese, for topping
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped for topping
- Pre-heat the oven to 375 F
- Add the olive oil to a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Cook the onion until translucent, about 7 minutes, stirring often.
- Add the garlic, and cook for a minute, stirring constantly, until the garlic is golden.
- Add the chili flakes, dried oregano, parsley and basil and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Pour in the crushed tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, then reduce to medium low and cook for another 8 minutes. Set aside.
- In a large pot filled with salted water, cook the rigatoni until al dente, about 9-10 minutes.
- Once ready, drain the pasta water, setting aside 1/2 cup of the water. Add the rigatoni to the same pot where it was cooked and pour the sauce on top of the pasta. Fold in the sauce, until the pasta is fully coated.
- Transfer half of the pasta to a large baking dish and top with the grated Friulano. Top with the rest of the pasta, and lay the sliced Friulano on top of the pasta. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 10 minutes. Carefully, remove the foil and set the oven to broil.
- Broil for a minute until the Friulano is bubbly and slightly golden.
- Place the dish on top of a cooling rack for 5 minutes before serving, and top with basil.
If you make this recipe, I would love to hear what you think! You can tag #dialaskitchen on Isntagram or comment below!
*This post was made in collaboration with Saputo, However all views, opinions and recipe creation are my own.