how to make baked rigatoni | kelly’s kitchen

Hello! Welcome to Kelly’s Kitchen. I am happy you’re here today. As the summer vegetables start to hit the markets, I wanted to share a recipe that is the perfect solution for when you can’t eat the veggies fast enough. This is an issue for Alex and me even though we are cooking at home everyday. This week I did my usual check in on all the veggies in my fridge drawers and noticed my yellow zucchini was in a “use it or lose it” situation. Ditto for my garlic and  homegrown oyster mushrooms.   My favorite thing to do with any and all veggies that are about to turn is to roast them. Then I can either use them for a stock or sauce. Today we are going to make a light, fresh roasted veggie tomato sauce for baked rigatoni. But this isn’t your typical baked rigatoni, we are going to layer it, like a lasagna.  Here’s how to make baked rigatoni. 

 

The Sauce

Let’s start with the veggies. I have two medium-sized yellow zucchini, a Vidalia onion, half a bulb of garlic and a bunch of carrots. But use what ya got! Bell peppers? Great option! Leeks? Yes please. Broccoli? Cauliflower? Toss ‘em in! 

Chop all the veggies into large chunks. I find it’s easier to get the garlic out of its skin after it’s roasted, so I leave the skins on to roast. 

Spread the veggies out on a large sheet tray, drizzle with a healthy amount of olive oil. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning or whatever dried herbs you have. I have thyme, parsley and crushed red pepper. Sprinkle a few big pinches of kosher salt. I am eyeballing all of this, and you can too! it’s easy, you just want an even distribution of whatever herbs and spices you like. You will season- to-taste this sauce at every step of the way, so you can make adjustments as you go. 

Sheet Tray | Olive Oil Cruet | Bamboo Cutting Board | Dish Towel | Salt Cellar

Pop the sheet tray in a 400 degree oven for about 40 minutes. Turn the tray halfway through. 

Why didn’t I put my mushrooms in with my veggies? Well, this sauce gets pureed and I want my mushrooms to retain their texture and flavor in a more prominent way. So I am sautéing my mushrooms separately to add as a layer to my baked rigatoni. You’ll see, it’s gonna be good. You can do your mushrooms like this too, or you can roast them with the rest of the veggies and make them part of the sauce. 

For the mushrooms, I sautéed them in about a tablespoon of olive oil (again, I just eyeballed it). A healthy sprinkle of kosher salt and when they have soaked up the olive oil and started to brown, deglaze the pan with about one tablespoon of dry white wine. I eyeballed the wine too; it’ll depend on how many mushrooms you are using. You can see I don’t have that many, maybe about a cup’s worth. Once the wine has bubbled and dissipated, and your mushrooms have developed a little browning, they’re done! Pull them off the heat and set them aside. 

After about 40-50 minutes in the oven, or when your veggies have developed a lot of nice, even browning, pull them out and set them aside to cool slightly. Don’t forget to fish out your garlic cloves and pop their skins off.

For my tomatoes, I am using one (28 oz) can of whole San Marzano tomatoes, but you can use whatever kind of canned tomato you have. I want this sauce to be more vegetable forward, thick and chunky, so I am only using one can. But if you like your sauce to be more tomato-based and thinner, use two 28 ounce cans of tomatoes.

Sheet Tray | Dish Towel | Pyrex 8 Cup | Mesh Strainer | Salt Cellar | Oil Cruet 

If you strain the tomatoes you will be able to easily control how much liquid goes into your pureed sauce. I ended up using all the tomato juice.

As I mentioned at the start, I am going to layer this bake like a lasagna rather than a typical rigatoni bake, which fully mixes the rigatoni with the sauce before it bakes. my mushrooms will be their own layer; and I found a can of artichoke hearts which will serve as another layer.

Put all of your roasted veggies in a food processor with the tomatoes (You may have to do it in two batches) and puree until you reach a thick chunky consistency. At this point you can decide whether to add in the juice from the tomato can. I added the juice and got a nice salsa consistency. 

Food Processor | Stock Pot | Silicone Spatula | 8 oz Measuring Cup

Pour this mixture into a large saucepan or pot and add ¼ to ⅓ cup dry red wine. Taste your sauce, feel free to add more salt. I added another healthy pinch of kosher salt. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.

 

Meanwhile get your pasta water boiling and give it a generous tablespoon of salt. I used a 12 ounce bag of rigatoni. Cook your pasta for about half the time the package recommends. Rigatoni typically boils for about 12 minutes for al dente, but for this we want to go just shy of al dente so that it won’t get overcooked in the oven. I let mine go for about 7 minutes. You can test it by slicing a rigatoni in half, you’re looking for it to retain an opaque white ring around the center. 

While my pasta and sauce were cooking on the stove, I quartered my artichoke hearts.

Assembly

Rectangular Casserole | Ladle | Nesting Bowl and Colander Set 

I have my assembly area prepped with a 9″x12” casserole dish, my sauce, drained rigatoni, mushrooms, artichoke hearts and fresh mozzarella. You can use low moisture shredded mozzarella cheese if you like, your bake will just take less time to get the cheese to melt and brown.

A note on the prep: I have a ceramic baking dish that never gets sticky, but if your baking dish has a history of getting stuff stuck, you may want to lightly grease the dish with oil.

Like a lasagna, you will start with a layer of sauce. Then rigatoni, then more sauce. 

Then I did my layer of quartered artichoke hearts.

A layer of cheese, then another layer of rigatoni.

More sauce!

More cheese! 

Now, I love for mushrooms to get crispy edges so I am doing mushrooms as my top layer with a little more cheese on top to give the mushrooms some protection.

 

Cover your casserole and pop that puppy in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. At around the 20 minute mark, check to see if the sauce is bubbling up a little. If it is, remove the cover and bake for 20 more minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and browning. If it’s not bubbling at 20 minutes, keep it covered and check it every few minutes until it is, then carry on with the uncovered baking. 

Wow. Wow. Wow! She’s gorgeous!

Let’s plate it up with some fresh basil leaves. You can go with fresh rosemary or oregano too. Grate on the parm, crank a few turns of fresh ground pepper and and there ya go!

 Cloth Napkin | Stoneware Bowl

Baked rigatoni is just one way to use a roasted vegetable tomato sauce. This sauce is fresh and light – perfect for summer. It’s vegetarian and you can go one further by using vegan cheese, if you like. Or substitute the rigatoni with cauliflower gnocchi to make it gluten free. This sauce is great as a bruschetta-style topping for bread; I think it would be fantastic mixed with wild rice for stuffing bell peppers. Make up a batch and freeze it for later! 

Thank you for joining me today, you can also follow me on instagram and facebook. I look forward to seeing you next week! Take care and be well. xo Kelly

5 from 6 votes
Print

Roasted Vegetable Tomato Sauce

Course dinner, lunch, Main Course, Sauce

Ingredients

  • Zucchini
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Carrots
  • Mushrooms
  • Olive Oil
  • Dried Herbs
  • Kosher Salt
  • 1-2 28oz Canned Tomatoes

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees

  2. Chop Vegetables into large chunks and spread evenly on a sheet tray

  3. Drizzle with olive oil, season with dried herbs and salt

  4. Roast for about 40-50 minutes, until browned

  5. Add vegetables and tomatoes to a food processor and puree to desired consistency.

  6. Transfer mixture to a stock pot or large sauce pan and add 1/4 to 1/3 cup dry red wine. Season to taste with kosher salt

  7. Bring to a boil and reduce heat, let simmer for about 15 minutes.

Recipe Notes

I used this sauce for a baked rigatoni, which took a 12 ounce bag of rigatoni.

Equipment and Utensils in this Recipe

 

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34 Comments

  1. Cyndi wrote:

    This looks a-maz-ing! Makes my mouth water just reading about it! Will definitely try this one!

    Posted 6.6.20
    • Hi Cyndi, Thanks so much for reading today’s post! Let me know how your’s turns out – I am sure it will be a hit! Have a great weekend, xo Kelly

      Posted 6.6.20
    • Linda wrote:

      Did i miss what size can of tomatoes tomadd? Looks wonderful.

      Posted 6.6.20
      • Hi Linda, I used one 28 ounce can of tomatoes. You may want to use two 28 ounce cans if you like a thinner sauce. I hope you give this one a try! Thanks so much for tuning in today, xo Kelly

        Posted 6.6.20
  2. Arna wrote:

    Definitely will have to try this when I have veggies ready to be used, that day! Sounds delicious. Thanks.

    Posted 6.6.20
    • Thanks Arna! This sauce is so great to have on hand. I will definitely be making more to freeze for other recipes. Thanks for reading today’s post, xo Kelly

      Posted 6.6.20
    • Christine wrote:

      Hello Kelly … I am impressed with your fresh take on this baked pasta recipe !
      I love the idea of roasting the vegetables and incorporating them into the sauce . I agree about the mushrooms and keeping them on the top layer .
      I’m going to try it next week .
      Thanks for such goodness !

      Posted 6.6.20
      • Hi Christine, Thank you so much! I love a meat sauce, but the roasted vegetables add so much flavor! It really is a fresh-tasting sauce. Let me know how it turns out for you. Be well, xo Kelly

        Posted 6.6.20
  3. Sangita M wrote:

    I’ve been making baked rigatoni for years, but I absolutley love your version and can’t wait to try it out!
    Take care and happy weekend!

    Posted 6.6.20
    • Hi Sangita, let me know how you like this lasagna-style version. It’s so good! Thanks for reading and writing in today, have a lovely weekend, xo Kelly

      Posted 6.6.20
  4. Meredith Seiser wrote:

    Kelly, I like your clear instructions.
    I would like to know about home grown mushrooms, I am not aware it could be done.
    Thanks!

    Posted 6.6.20
    • Hello Meredith, I am glad you asked about the mushrooms! There is a great company out of Florida that sells homegrown mushroom kits called Nearby Naturals: https://nearbynaturalsfl.com/
      The kits are very easy and they don’t take up too much space. I have the Golden Oyster and the Lion’s Mane kits. I have so far harvested one batch each, and the Golden Oysters are already growing a second batch. You should get 1-4 batches from each kit. I highly recommend you try it out. It’s a lot of fun! Take care, xo Kelly

      Posted 6.6.20
  5. carla wrote:

    yum, i will try this as I have some need to use veggies.

    Posted 6.6.20
    • Hi Carla, I am sure you will enjoy this recipe! It’s perfect for getting creative with what you have! Thanks for reading, xo Kelly

      Posted 6.6.20
  6. It looks delicious. Mouth-watering!

    Posted 6.6.20
    • Hi Linda, This recipe is definitely a keeper! Thanks so much for tuning in today, xo Kelly

      Posted 6.6.20
  7. Linda wrote:

    Sorry just reread the recipe and found the amount of tomatoes. I must say they are usually included in the ingredients.

    Posted 6.6.20
    • Ah, an oversight on my part. I will amend the recipe card. Thanks for the heads up Linda!

      Posted 6.6.20
  8. Cathy wrote:

    Kelly, thanks for this, it’s a great way to get more vegetables into a pasta dish. How much rigatoni did you use? 8 oz, 12 oz, 16 oz?

    Posted 6.6.20
    • Hi Cathy, I used a 12 oz bag of rigatoni. Thanks for asking, I will amend the recipe card to contain that info! Have a great weekend! xo Kelly

      Posted 6.6.20
  9. Carroll Niesen wrote:

    Ummm . . . could I help you finish off the leftovers?

    Posted 6.6.20
    • Hi Carroll! I wish, it was so good there isn’t any left! Thanks so much for tuning in, xo Kelly

      Posted 6.7.20
  10. Deborah wrote:

    5 stars
    OMG! I was trying to decide what to cook tonight as I read this. I had everything needed to make it, so I did. It was delicious and versatile! I didn’t have mushrooms and used red peppers instead of squash. Thank you for sharing! This is definitely going in my meal rotation.

    Posted 6.6.20
    • Hi Deborah, That’s sounds so good, I love red peppers. I bet that sauce was amazing! Thanks so much for tuning in, I am so happy you found inspiration in the recipe and made it your own. 🙂 Enjoy your leftovers! xo, Kelly

      Posted 6.7.20
  11. Suzanne Smith wrote:

    5 stars
    Oh, that looks scrumptious. I am a huge fan of roasted veggies–and I love the notion of mixing all that roasty good with the tomato sauce. This looks great. I will have to pin this and give it a whirl. I have made similar sauces with eggplant and another one with mushrooms that became so rich and flavorful. I also love your idea of using this on bruschetta or in stuffed peppers. Yum.

    Posted 6.6.20
    • Hello Suzanne, I think you will really like this sauce. The concentration of flavors from roasting creates such a robust flavor overall. I didn’t miss the meat I normally use for tomato sauce. Give this a try and be sure to let me know you like it. Take care, xo Kelly

      Posted 6.7.20
  12. Marty wrote:

    5 stars
    Recipe sounds so good. What a nice change from adding meat. Can’t wait to try this.

    Posted 6.7.20
    • Hi Marty, I do hope you try the recipe it is really good! Do let me know if you try it and how it turns out for you. xo, Kelly

      Posted 6.7.20
  13. Jo Ann Otts wrote:

    5 stars
    Hi Kelly,

    I’ve been following your recipes for a few weeks, and I took the plunge this week. The baked rigatoni with vegetable sauce is in the oven now… of course, I tasted the sauce and it is incredible! I appreciate you for encouraging the use of any veggies on hand, as it took the pressure off and made for a great sauce. I look forward to the next issue of Kelly’s Kitchen!

    Posted 6.7.20
    • Hello Jo Ann, I am so happy you tried the recipe! Wonderful! I love to get creative with whatever is available or on hand. Do let me know how it all turned out for you. I am sure it’s delicious! Thank you so much for your support, see you next week, xo Kelly

      Posted 6.7.20
  14. Terry wrote:

    Love this recipe, I’m going to make it tonight I’ll let you know how it turns out

    Posted 6.9.20
  15. Terry wrote:

    5 stars
    I just made this let me tell you it’s delicious gma even loved it. The only change I made was I used diced tomatoes..we gave it 5 stars LOVED IT

    Posted 6.9.20
    • Hey Mom, that’s great! I am so glad you and Grandma loved the recipe! xo, Kelly

      Posted 6.10.20
  16. Mel wrote:

    5 stars
    Currently in the oven! As soon as I read this recipe I wanted to make it and today’s the day ..the sauce is delicious and it was fun assembling the dish with all the different components. Can’t wait to taste it! Thank you, it’s a great recipe X

    Posted 6.20.20

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