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Baked Stuffed Rigatoni

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Are you like me?  Do you like to browse Pinterest looking for tasty things to cook and to eat?   Do you pin them and make note of them?   How many of them do you actually go back and cook?   Or do you just use your pins to inspire you?  I do a bit of both.  
I peruse and pin . . . then I get inspired and then I cook.  Sometimes exactly from the pin . . . and sometimes I use the pin as a starting base and then run with the ball! 

A few weeks back I was greatly intrigued by a recipe I saw on Pinterest for a Skillet Baked Stuffed Rigatoni by Heather Christo, which you can see here.   It was a bit fiddly, but it looked fabulously delicious, and not all that difficult to do!
The really fiddly part was stuffing the rigatoni.  They aren’t huge actually, so you will want to make sure you don’t cook the pasta until it is flimsy as you are going to have to poke a piping bag into those.  Things I learned from this process . . . room temperature cheese is easier to pipe, and do not overcook the pasta or it will split.

mmmm . . . little pasta tubes stuffed with cheese . . . layered with fresh basil and slathered with marinara sauce . . . dusted with more cheese and then baked . . . what’s not to like????  Of course, there can never be enough cheese and so I added some Dolcelatte to the filling, because . . .  I had it, it needed using and I love it!

I also added a nice layer of mozzarella to the top.   Heather didn’t do this, but once again, I had it to use and I used it!

Scrummo!   I enjoyed this the other day whilst the Toddster was enjoying the rare treat of a Steak and Kidney (ugh!!) pie. 

Coz . . . I have taste, and he doesn’t.   (I jest people, I jest!)  Seriously though this was really tasty . . . however fiddly.  Think cheese lasagne . . . except stuffed into eensie peensie  tubes.

Would I go to all that fuss again?  Probably not, but at least I gave it a go!   Much easier to just layer the stuff in a dish and bake it.   The end result would probably taste the same!  But if you aren’t afraid of a bit of fiddle, by all means go for it! 


*Baked Stuffed Rigatoni*
Serves 4
I am not usually one for fiddly recipes, but this looked so good I couldn’t resist.   I was right.  It was delicious!

1/2 pound of rigatoni pasta

8 ounces ricotta cheese, room temperature

4 ounces soft goats cheese, room temperature

2 ounces dolcelatte cheese, room temperature

fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 large jar of good quality marinara sauce (about 3 cups)

a large handful of fresh basil leaves

2 ounces freshly grated Parmesan cheese

a handful of grated mozzarella cheese

Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4.  Butter a round baking dish.   Set aside.

Cook your rigatoni until almost al dente, according to package directions.  You don’t want it quite al dente.  While the pasta is cooking beat the soft cheeses together in a bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Place into a disposable plastic pastry bag, snip the end and push down all the way, ready for piping.  Drain the rigatoni well and rinse in cold water.  Drain again.  

Place half of your marinara sauce into the bottom of the baking dish.  Top with the basil leaves, reserving a few for the top.  Fill your rigatoni noodles with the cheese mixture.  (It works best if your noodles are not quite cooked and the cheese is at room temperature.  Then you don’t have blow outs and the cheese goes in quite easily.)  Lay the filled tubes in the dish in a circular pattern, one layer at a time.   Once you have filled them all and they are in the dish.   Pour the remaining sauce over top, spreading  it out to cover.   Scatter on a few torn basil leaves and the grated Parmesan cheese.  Scatter the Mozarella over top of all.  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the top is golden and the dish is bubbling.   Serve hot!

Debunking the myths of English Cookery, one recipe at a time.
The English Kitchen


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