This easy baked rigatoni is all about crowd pleasing flavor! Bake this popular pasta with garlicky tomato sauce, fresh basil, and gooey mozzarella.
- 1 pound rigatoni pasta
- 24 ounce jar marinara sauce (or make Homemade Spaghetti Sauce)
- 15 ounce can crushed fire roasted tomatoes (or best quality tomatoes)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 1/2 cup basil, chopped, plus more for garnish
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese (or shredded)
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for sprinkling.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Brush a 9 x 13″ baking dish with olive oil.
- Start a pot of well salted water to a boil. Boil the rigatoni until it is just al dente (start tasting a few minutes before the package recommends: you want it to be tender but still a little firm on the inside; usually around 7 to 8 minutes). Drain.
- Meanwhile, mince the garlic. In a separate pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the garlic and fennel seeds and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until fragrant. Add the basil, marinara sauce, and tomatoes and stir for 1 minute. Stir in 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder and 1 pinch red pepper flakes and the 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Remove from the heat.
- Pour the sauce and the drained pasta into the baking dish. Top with torn pieces of mozzarella. Sprinkle the entire top with generous sprinkles of Parmesan cheese.
- Cover with foil and bake 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes until browned.
- Remove the pan from the oven and top with 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided over the top. Let stand 5 minutes. If desired, garnish with chopped basil. (Make ahead instructions: Make the pasta through Step 4 and cover with foil. Refrigerate until baking, up to 24 hours.)
- Category: Main Dish
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: Italian