Baked Rigatoni with Zucchini and Mozzarella

Active Time: 15 MinsTotal Time1 Hour 15 Mins
Yield: Serves 8

If you’re in the mood for a cheesy lasagna but want something a little less labor-intensive, try this Baked Rigatoni. Fresh mozzarella, which is sold in water, has a short shelf life and should be used within a few days of purchase for the best flavor. If you can’t find ciliegini, you can tear a standard-size ball of fresh mozzarella into small pieces. Give this baked pasta an impressive look by using a springform pan.


  • 1 pound rigatoni pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups zucchini, cut into half-moons (from 1 [8 oz.] zucchini)
  • 5 ounces baby spinach
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
  • 1large egg
  • 16 ounces small fresh mozzarella cheese balls, divided
  • 2 ounces grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1(14.5-oz.) can diced tomatoes, drained
  • Fresh basil leaves

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 375°F. Cook rigatoni pasta according to package directions. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.

Step 2

Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned on all sides, about 4 minutes. Stir in baby spinach; cook until wilted, about 1 minute. Sprinkle with black pepper and 1/4 tsp. kosher salt. Transfer to bowl with pasta.

Step 3

Whisk together sour cream, plain whole-milk Greek yogurt, egg, and 3⁄4 tsp. kosher salt in a medium bowl until well incorporated.

Step 4

Stir sour cream mixture into pasta mixture until well coated. Add 12 oz. small fresh mozzarella cheese balls and 1 oz. grated Parmesan cheese to pasta mixture; toss to combine. Gently stir in drained, diced tomatoes.

Step 5

Transfer mixture to a lightly greased (with cooking spray) 9-inch springform pan, and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven until set, about 30 minutes. Top with remaining 4 oz. small fresh mozzarella cheese balls and remaining 1 oz. grated Parmesan cheese, and return to oven. Bake until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove and let stand 15 minutes. Release side of springform pan, and cut into 8 pieces. Sprinkle with fresh basil leaves.

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