Baked Rigatoni With Four Cheeses

"This was adapted from Giada de Laurentis's recipe, which she calls "Farmer's Pasta." It is a macaroni and cheese dish that will appeal to young and old. In a pinch, I have substituted 8 ounces of mozzarella cheese for the 8 ounces of Fontina. Great dish for entertaining!"
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Ready In:
1hr 15mins




  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with butter.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat.
  • Add the suasage and saute until crisp and golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove sausage from pan and set aside.
  • If there is less than 1/4 cup drippings in the pan, add more oil. Reduce heat to medium.
  • Add garlic and saute until light brown.
  • Add the flour and stir for 2 minutes.
  • Gradually add in the milk, stirring with each addition. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, whisking often, about 5 minutes.
  • Gradually whisk in all the cheeses.
  • Boil the rigatoni only about 7 minutes. Drain pasta well and add to the pot with the cheese sauce.
  • Add the parsley, basil, black pepper, and reserved sausage; toss well to completely coat the pasta.
  • Pour pasta mixture into the baking dish.
  • Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic powder, remaining parsley, and bread crumbs and toss to coat.
  • Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the pasta mixture. Drizzle the top with remaining olive oil and bake until the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Shasha
    I think it needs more seasoning given that it's white sauce. It tasted pretty bland for my family. But it looked pretty.
  2. mickie49
    Oh Wow! There are no words to describe how wonderfully delicious, rich and comforting this dish is! It is definitely not low fat but more of an occasional indulgence. I used thick cut smokey Amish bacon in place of the Italian sausage and also cut the recipe in half. Even cutting the recipe in half I have plenty left over for lunch! Thank you for posting this!


I am an attorney and have been married 25 years. I enjoy cooking and creating good meals, but on weekends only! My favorite cookbook is the Jane Brody Good Food Book, but having said that, I usually find something that I love in most cookbooks! My current passion is adopting favorite recipes and making them healthy and yummy (or just finding great recipes that promote good health!).
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