Cheesy Rigatoni Bake

This recipe is a departure from a traditional rigatoni bake, because it’s got a few extra ingredients. Best part? They’re all healthy! Bring on the veggies.

You’ll need:

  • 1 pound organic, lean ground beef
  • 1 large eggplant, cubed
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 mushrooms, diced
  • 5 ounces fresh baby spinach, leaves whole
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • One 14.5 oz can tomato sauce
  • 15 oz ricotta cheese
  • 6 oz parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 16 oz rigatoni pasta
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat your oven to 375F
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large sauté pan
  3. When the pan is hot, cook the ground beef and minced garlic until it is well done. Remove it from the pan with a slotted spoon, and set aside. Drain any fat from the pan if needed
  4. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the same pan
  5. Add the eggplant, onion and mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about five minutes
  6. Add the red wine
  7. Add the spinach, and cook until it is wilted
  8. Stir in the tomato sauce and dried seasonings
  9. Return the cooked ground beef to the pan, and stir. Turn the stovetop to low heat, and keep warm. At this point, be sure to taste the sauce. Season with salt and pepper as you see fit
  10. Cook the pasta according to package directions
  11. After the pasta has finished cooking, drain it and stir it into the sauce
  12. Stir in the ricotta cheese, and about a third of the parmesan cheese
  13. Transfer the mixture to a 9″ x 13″ baking dish, and top with the remaining parmesan cheese
  14. Cover the dish with foil. Tent the foil, so the cheese doesn’t stick
  15. Bake for 30 minutes
  16. Remove the foil, and turn on the broiler. Continue to cook for another two minutes
  17. After removing the rigatoni bake from the oven, let it cool for about five minutes, then serve






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