Rigatoni & Spicy Sausage Casserole

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Rigatoni & Spicy Sausage Casserole

Rigatoni & Spicy Sausage Casserole

Mushrooms have the perfect meaty texture to complement a modest amount of spicy Italian sausage in this baked rigatoni that has less than one-quarter the fat of the original. Whole-wheat pasta rather than white pasta makes our version a fiber powerhouse with 7 grams per serving. This delicious and cheesy pasta casserole freezes well so you might want to make an extra to have on hand for a ready-to-heat-and-eat meal.

Serves 6

Prep Time 30 min

Total Time 60 min.

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces hot Italian sausage, (2 links)
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon crumbled dried rosemary
  • 2 14-ounce c diced tomatoes, or plum tomatoes (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup dry red or white wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 12 ounces whole-wheat rigatoni, mostaccioli or penne
  • 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 3/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs, preferably whole-wheat (see Tip)
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Cooking Directions

Step 1

Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a 3-quart shallow baking dish with cooking spray. Put a large pot of water on to boil.

Step 2

Crumble sausage into a large nonstick skillet (discard casing) and cook over medium heat, stirring, until browned and cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.

Step 3

Wipe out the pan and add oil; heat over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add mushrooms and rosemary; cook, stirring, until the mushrooms begin to give off liquid, about 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes (and their juices), wine and the cooked sausage. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes. (The sauce will be quite thin.) Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper.

Step 4

Meanwhile, cook pasta until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes or according to package directions. Drain.

Step 5

Add the pasta to the sauce; toss to coat. Spread half in the prepared baking dish. Dot with spoonfuls of ricotta and top with the remaining pasta. Cover with foil. Bake for 20 minutes.

Step 6

Combine breadcrumbs and Parmesan in a small bowl. Season with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the pasta and continue to bake, uncovered, until the top is golden, about 10 minutes more.


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