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Pasta Bolognese

This baked Pasta Bolognese features tender rigatoni smothered with a rich homemade bolognese sauce. The combination results in a mouthwatering casserole that’s ideal for family dinners and entertaining.

bolognese-casserole

Easy Pasta Bolognese Recipe

Classic bolognese can be made with beef, veal or pork or any combination of the aforementioned based on your preference. I use beef and Italian seasoned pork sausage in this recipe to keep things simple. You could also use unseasoned ground pork, in place of the Italian sausage. How to make simple baked Pasta Bolognese: (Scroll down for full printable recipe.)

  • Pasta – Cook the rigatoni in salted water per the package directions until al dente. Drain well then set aside.
  • Vegetables for the Sauce – Cook the onion, carrot, celery and bay leaf over medium high heat for 3-5 minutes just until beginning to soften. Season with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and black pepper. Add the garlic to the pan, cooking for 1 minute longer.
  • Meat – To the pot add the ground beef and sausage (or ground pork). Cook over medium high heat until no pink remains. Drain excess fat from the pot.
  • Sauce – Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, beef stock, Italian seasoning, granulated garlic, onion powder and crushed red pepper flakes. Mix well. Bring to a simmer then lower the heat and gently bubble uncovered for 20 minutes.
  • Cream – Mix in the heavy cream. Remove from the heat. Reserve about 1 1/2 cups of sauce and remove the bay leaf from the pot.
  • Combine – Add the cooked rigatoni to the Dutch oven, mix until fully coated. .
  • Prepare Pan – Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 13×9 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  • Assemble the Casserole – Pour half of the rigatoni into the prepared dish. Sprinkle with 1 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese.
  • Top with Sauce and Cheese – Pour the remaining rigatoni into the dish. Spoon the reserved sauce on top. Sprinkle with 1 cup cheese and Parmesan cheese.
  • Transfer to Oven – Place into the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes.
  • Garnish with fresh parsley and serve.
how-do-you-make-pasta-bolognese

How to Make the BEST Pasta Bolognese Recipe

  • Ingredients you’ll need to make homemade baked Pasta Bolognese: Lean ground beef, Italian sausage, olive oil, carrot, onion, celery, garlic, crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, beef stock or red wine, salt, black pepper, granulated garlic, onion powder, crushed red pepper flakes, dried Italian seasoning blend, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, rigatoni and heavy cream.
  • Kitchen tools you’ll need: 6 quart Dutch oven or large pot, pasta cooker, sharp knife and cutting board, measuring cups and spoons, cheese grater, large spoon and 13×9 inch baking dish.
  • This recipe uses ground beef and Italian sausage. You can also use ground chicken, ground turkey, ground pork or any combination of these in the sauce depending on your personal preference.
  • You can use bacon drippings in place of olive oil to cook the vegetables.
  • This pasta recipe can be fully assembled one day in advance and chilled. When doing so, allow 15-20 minutes on the counter prior to baking to warm to room temperature and increase the baking time, if needed.
  • You can also make the bolognese sauce in advance and then assemble with the rigatoni just before baking.
  • Store baked Pasta Bolognese chilled in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Reheat in single servings in the microwave.
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More Pasta Recipes to Make

homemade-bolognese-sauce

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baked-rigatoni-bolognese

Pasta Bolognese

Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time1 hour 5 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian Inspired, Southern
Keyword: baked-pasta-bolognese, bolognese-sauce, pasta-bolognese-recipe
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 492kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 lb box dry rigatoni pasta
  • 1 1/2 lb lean ground beef
  • 8 oz ground pork or Italian sausage
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 medium carrot peeled and diced
  • 1 rib celery diced
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt divided use
  • 1 tsp black pepper divided use
  • 4 medium garlic cloves minced
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup beef stock or red wine
  • 2 Tbsp dry Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2-1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2-3 Tbsp shredded Parmesan cheese
  • chopped Italian parsley

Instructions

  • Cook the rigatoni in salted water per the package directions until al dente. Drain well then set aside.
  • In a large Dutch oven drizzled with olive oil cook the onion, carrot, celery and bay leaf over medium high heat for 3-5 minutes just until beginning to soften. Season with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and black pepper. Add the garlic to the pan, cooking for 1 minute longer.
  • To the pot add the ground beef and Italian sausage or ground pork. Continue to cook over medium high heat until no pink remains. Drain excess fat from the pot.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, beef stock, Italian seasoning, granulated garlic, onion powder and crushed red pepper flakes. Mix well. Bring to a simmer then lower the heat and gently bubble uncovered for 20 minutes.
  • After 20 minutes, mix in the heavy cream. Remove from the heat. Reserve about 1 1/2 cups of sauce and remove the bay leaf from the pot.
  • Add the cooked rigatoni to the Dutch oven, mix until fully coated. .
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 13×9 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  • Pour half of the rigatoni into the prepared dish. Sprinkle with 1 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese.
  • Pour the remaining rigatoni into the dish. Spoon the reserved sauce on top. Sprinkle with 1 cup cheese and Parmesan cheese.
  • Place into the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes.
  • Garnish with fresh parsley and serve.

Notes

You can use bacon drippings in place of olive oil to cook the vegetables.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 492kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 802mg | Potassium: 432mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1461IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 202mg | Iron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @melissassk or tag #melissassk!

4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This recipe is awesome. Saw the post this morning and since I had all the ingredients made it immediately. Just out of the oven and it tastes as wonderful as it smells. Thank you! Do you think it would be okay to make and freeze before baking?

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