If you’re looking for something spicy, creamy, savory, or tangy, this list of 10 excellent rigatoni recipes has you covered.
One question I get all the time is, “What’s the difference between rigatoni and penne?”
The most obvious difference is the way the two pastas are cut.
Rigatoni is cut straight, giving it a pipe-like appearance, whereas penne is cut diagonally, so the ends come out into a point.
Rigatoni is also larger and has a wider diameter.
Penne is a straight pasta, but rigatoni can be straight or curved.
The difference between rigatoni and ziti is that ziti has a smooth surface, while rigatoni always has ridges.
If you’re in a bind, though, you can substitute either pasta for these rigatoni recipes.
Best Ever Baked Rigatoni and More!
If you like meals with a bit of spice and heat, you’ll appreciate this spicy sausage rigatoni.
You’ll love its tender pasta and well-seasoned, flavorful chunks of sausage.
The red wine, tomatoes, herbs, and Italian dressing all pair well to create a rich, yummy sauce.
Top the whole thing with grated parmesan and basil for an extra splash of color and taste, and you’re all set.
This recipe for baked rigatoni is quite similar to my recipe for baked ziti.
They both use ground beef and Italian sausage for the protein, onions and garlic for spice, and gooey mozzarella.
The main difference between my ziti recipe and this one is that this one uses rigatoni instead of ziti (obviously) and calls for both marinara and tomato sauces. (I use only marinara in the ziti.)
Either way, they’re both hearty and delicious, and you can substitute one pasta for the other in either recipe.
If you use ziti, it’ll feel a bit different, as you won’t have the ridges on the pasta.
Additionally, each noodle won’t hold as much sauce. But again, in a pinch, you can use either one.
I love skillet meals because they’re so quick and straightforward.
This one, for example, takes only 30 minutes from start to finish. It also uses fewer than 10 ingredients (plus salt and pepper).
All you’ll need is olive oil, garlic, mushrooms, your favorite pasta sauce, spinach, ricotta, rigatoni, parmesan, and mozzarella.
It’s a vegetarian-friendly meal that’s cheesy and tastes a lot like lasagna, though it’s much quicker to make.
The mushrooms and spinach add a wild flavor that really rounds out the whole dish.
Okay, so the Greek pasta bake takes some time to make. Let’s get that out of the way upfront.
It needs about 40 minutes of prep work and another hour to bake.
But when I tell you that you’ve never tasted anything like it in your life, I’m not exaggerating.
It’s ridiculously good and unique. There are just so many flavors!
You’ll get savory heartiness from the beef and lamb. The onions, garlic, and a few other herbs bring a bit of umami flavor to the dish.
Then, there’s tanginess from the lemon juice, feta cheese, and other herbs. But the tastebud explosion doesn’t stop there!
It even pulls in sweetness with sugar and cinnamon!
You can go to the finest restaurant in your city, and I promise you won’t find something as complex and phenomenal as this pasta bake.
If you just don’t have 1 or 2 hours to cook dinner, try this 30-minute pasta instead.
It’s light and zesty and – aside from the carb count – relatively healthy for you, too!
There’s no meat, just artichokes, olives, pasta, and peas, but even so, it’s surprisingly filling.
Plus, it has a bright, tangy flavor that’s perfect for summer dinners on the patio.
If you love tomato cream sauce as much as I do, then you already know this one will be a hit at your dinner table.
It takes only 25 minutes to prepare and cook, and it features tender, chewy pasta and a rich, creamy sauce. It’s cheesy, tomatoey, and vegetarian-friendly.
It’s also simple to make, so if you’re a beginning cook looking for something to wow your family, this is a good way to go.
If you like pasta that’s tangy – bordering on tart – then creamy lemon pasta is the recipe for you.
It’s another simple 25-minute pasta that’s perfect for vegetarians.
The sauce is thick and creamy, and the parmesan and butter add a touch of decadence, which is smoothed out some by the zestiness of the lemon juice and zest.
It, too, is a bright, vibrant dish that would be ideal for any summer meal.
Pasta alla Norma is another pasta that takes a bit of time to make (about an hour and 20 minutes), but it uses fewer than 10 ingredients and isn’t difficult to pull together.
You’ll use a crispy, fried eggplant as your base, and you’ll pile it high with the cheese, pasta, and an herby tomato-based sauce.
It’s one of those meals that looks as good as it tastes, so if you’re searching for a meal that has an excellent presentation and a fantastic taste, give pasta alla Norma a try.
This vegetarian-friendly pasta is spicy, saucy, and scrumptious.
It also uses only eight simple ingredients that you probably have in your pantry right now!
With nothing more than rigatoni, olive oil, tomato sauce, garlic, red pepper flakes, water, parsley, and parmesan, you can have this on the table in just 20 minutes.
This Greek pasta salad takes only 30 minutes to make, and you can serve it fresh off the stove.
However, if you’re looking for a cool pasta salad dish for summer, I suggest chilling it first.
(Popping it in the fridge for about an hour should do the trick.)
It’s another simple pasta dish that takes little effort to make.
All you’ll need for the salad itself is rigatoni, feta cheese, cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives, and red onion.
Just be sure you get your marinade/dressing right for this one, as that’s where most of the flavor comes from with this dish.
It’s zesty and just a bit tart. You’ll love it.
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