Rigatoni al forno

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Oven baked rigatoni bolognese

Mhhhh… the wonderful smell of this pasta rising from the oven always reminds me of my childhood. The whole famiglia sitting at Nonna’s richly set table and in the middle a huge casserole dish with the rigatoni swimming in delicious sauce, topped with golden brown mozzarella – heavenly! I hope you will enjoy this recipe as much as I do 🙂

A little tip in advance: To save time for the elaborate Bolognese sauce, I always have a few portions of it on hand in the freezer. Just add it to the other ingredients – done!

Rigatoni al forno
4.58 from 182 ratings
Tastes like at Nonna's house – Fantastic!
Difficulty: easy
Cost: medium
Calories: 197kcal
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 3 hours 50 minutes
Total: 4 hours 10 minutes
Difficulty: easy
Cost: medium
Calories: 197kcal
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 3 hours 50 minutes
Total: 4 hours 10 minutes

Ingredients list

Main ingredients cream sauce

  • 1 onion
  • 125 g guanciale (Italian cured meat)
  • 400 g mushrooms
  • 100 g peas
  • 200 ml liquid cream
  • olive oil extra virgin
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste

Bolognese sauce


Bolognese sauce

  • Peel the celery, carrots and onions and cut them into small pieces.
  • Heat the olive oil in a high pan or pot and add the chopped vegetables. Saute over low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Now add the ground pork and beef and brown slowly for about 10 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Once all the meat juices have boiled away, deglaze with the white wine and allow to reduce briefly. Then add the strained tomatoes, a pinch of salt and a third of the water. Stir well and cook over medium heat for an hour.
  • After the first hour, add the second third of the water, stir and simmer for another hour. At the end of the second hour, add the last third of the water and cook on low heat for another hour. Then add a little salt and pepper, as well as the milk.

Main recipe

  • Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the rigatoni until just al dente. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F convection.
  • In the meantime, cut the onion and the guanciale or cooked ham into small cubes. Clean the mushrooms and cut them into strips. Lightly heat a small pan with a dash of olive oil and sauté the onion and bacon. Add the mushrooms and simmer until the liquid that comes out is almost evaporated.
  • Now add the Bolognese sauce, the peas and the liquid cream. Mix everything thoroughly and boil for a few minutes.
  • Prepare a small baking dish per person and cover the bottom with the sauce. Then spread the finished rigatoni evenly in it and pour sauce generously over it to make it nice and juicy. Mix the pasta and sauce in the dish. If necessary, add more sauce until the rigatoni are nicely covered. Finally, top with sliced or grated mozzarella and place in the oven for 15 minutes.
  • Once the cheese has taken on a light brown color, remove, let cool briefly and then serve.
    Buon appetito!


Since the basic sauce (ragu alla bolognese) for this recipe takes a lot of time, I always make double the amount right away and freeze half in portions (a ladleful) when I prepare it. Then, for the rigatoni al forno, all you have to do is add the frozen bolognese to the pot with the main sauce and let it simmer for a bit.
If you don’t have bolognese on hand you can just use a can of chopped tomatoes instead.
Serving: 525gCalories: 197kcal (10%)Carbohydrates: 17.4g (6%)Protein: 9.2g (18%)Fat: 9.2g (14%)

Well, have you tried Nonna’s Rigatoni al forno? Or are you looking for more delicious recipes?

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