Rigatoni with Sausage and Four Cheeses
A rich, creamy Italian pasta casserole loaded with four types of cheese, sausage, pancetta, tomatoes and mushrooms.
1 pound rigatoni pasta
1 pound Italian sausage, casing removed
1/4 cup pancetta, thinly sliced (or bacon)
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1/4 pound fresh sliced mushrooms
3 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
3 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
1 (16-ounce) container ricotta cheese
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup grated provolone cheese
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 (28-ounce) can Italian plum tomatoes, drained and chopped
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling, salted water until only halfway cooked, according to package directions. Drain, and rinse under cold water to stop cooking. Toss with a minimal amount of olive oil to prevent sticking.
- Cook pancetta (or bacon) in large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Drain on a paper towel.
- Add sausage to drippings in skillet and cook, breaking up large pieces, until well browned. Transfer to paper towel.
- Pour off all but 2 tablespoons drippings from skillet. Add onion, carrot, mushrooms, basil and parsley. Cook until onion is tender. Season with salt and pepper; set aside.
- Preheat oven to 400°F (205°C). Grease a 13x9x2-inch baking pan; set aside.
- Place ricotta in a large mixing bowl. Gradually stir in cream and then broth. Add the partially cooked rigatoni, pancetta, sausage, onion mixture, provolone, feta, tomatoes, and 1 cup Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper and mix well. Turn out into prepared baking pan. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan. Cover pan tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove foil cover and bake an additional 20 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbly.
Makes 6 servings.