Baked Rigatoni with Meatballs and Peppers
You will need:
- Kosher salt
- 1 pound rigatoni
- 2 tablespoons extra-virigin olive oil, plus more for brushing
- 4 cloves garlic, sliced
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1 (28 ounce) can plum tomatoes
- 1 (15 ounce) can plum tomatoes
- 4 large sprigs basil
- 3/4 pound pancetta, diced and browned
- 1 cup meatballs, cooked and quartered
- 1 cup sliced roasted red peppers
- 1 cup chopped black or green pitted olives
- 3 cups shredded mild provolone cheese
- 1 cup freshly grated ricotta salata
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Cook the rigatoni until very al dente, 2 to 3 minutes less than the label directs, then drain.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until the garlic is golden.
- Crush the plum tomatoes into the skillet with your hands and rinse out each can with 1/2 cup water and add the water to the skillet.
- Add the basil, then simmer, uncovered, until the sauce is thickened, about 15 minutes.
- Discard the basil and season the sauce with salt.
- Stir the pancetta into the sauce, then add the meatballs, roasted red peppers and olives.
- Brush a 4 quart baking dish with olive oil.
- Toss the cooked pasta with the sauce and half of each cheese, then spread it in the prepared baking dish.
- Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the pasta.
- Bake, uncovered, until browned, about 15 minutes.
- Let rest 15 minutes before serving.
Voila! You just made your family and yourself a wonderful Italian dish. I hope the smell has wafted through your home and attracted kids and family from the wood works! I'll see you all tomorrow. Good night!