Baked Rigatoni Bolognese

Recipe provided by Mia’s Italian Kitchen, Alexandria, VA, and created by chef Brandon Whitestone, Alexandria Restaurant Partners


  • 3.5 oz. Spanish onion, medium dice
  • 3.5 oz. carrots, peeled, medium dice
  • 1.5 oz. celery, medium dice
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 10 oz. red wine
  • 3 3-kg cans Italian tomatoes, peeled and pureed
  • 8 oz. tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 oz. garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. dry oregano
  • ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1.5 oz. fresh basil
  • 0.5 oz. fresh oregano
  • 1 oz. kosher salt
  • 1.5 lb. fresh rigatoni
  • 8 oz. fina-style ricotta
  • 2 lb. whole-milk mozzarella, shredded

In a large pot, cook the ground beef until it renders out. Remove the beef from the pot and drain half the fat. Cook the celery, onion, carrots and garlic until translucent. Add the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes, stirring with a rubber spatula. Add the beef back in, as well as the red wine. Cook until reduced by half. Add the tomatoes, bay leaf, dry oregano, crushed red pepper and salt. Cook for approximately 45 minutes, until thickened. Add fresh basil and oregano. Check the salt level and adjust as necessary.

Cook fresh rigatoni until less than al dente (time varies based on pasta). Toss with 2 qt. of Bolognese and put into a half hotel pan. Divide ricotta over the top and add the mozzarella. Bake for 10 minutes until the cheese melts.

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