Cooking From Scratch - Sausage Rigatoni Bake
Sausage Rigatoni Bake is a favorite meal around here. It provides everything you need in a meal and is fairly easy to make. Cooking from scratch is a great way to save money and making Sausage Rigatoni Bake is a recipe that will be worth making yourself. This recipe will be enough for two 9 x 13 casserole dishes. If you are making this for a crowd it will certainly feed a lot of people. If not, freeze half for a meal in the future. That is one of the things I love about this meal, I get two meals out of it.
1.5 pounds of pasta
1 pound of ground sausage
2 15 oz cans of tomato sauce
16 oz of ricotta cheese
16 oz of mozzarella cheese, shredded
I like to grate up a zucchini to include in the dish, but you could also add spinach to it. This is a great way to add vegetables to your meal. My kids don't know there is zucchini in it, if I peel it first.
Boil the pasta per the directions on the box. While the pasta is boiling, brown the ground sausage. I like to use hot sausage to add a little spice to the dish, but mild or medium also works great. Go ahead and shred your mozzarella cheese at this point too.
When your pasta and sausage are ready, drain the grease from the sausage and strain the water from the pasta. Divide everything except the Parmesan between the two casserole dishes and mix thoroughly. Sprinkle the top with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
If you are putting one in the freezer do not sprinkle Parmesan on top until you are ready to cook it. You do not need to cook the one for the freezer - just cover tightly with tinfoil and freeze. When ready to cook, let it thaw during the day, add the Parmesan cheese and cook for 30 minutes before dinner.
To make this as frugally as possible, try to purchase the ingredients when they are on sale. The Parmesan cheese is also not necessary - I have left it off when I have been out of it and no one notices and it still tastes great. It costs me $7 for the ingredients (purchased on sale) and I have enough for two complete meals for my family of six. $3.50 for a dinner for my family is a pretty good deal. We had this tonight and have enough for three lunches of leftovers. It really does make a lot and it is very filling. Like I said this is one of our favorite meals, and I hope you enjoy it too.