This hearty and delicious baked sausage ricotta pasta a is a wonderful meal, with tons of flavour and just enough cheese to satisfy!
I never tire of baked pasta and this baked sausage ricotta pasta is a favourite. With browned sausage and dollops of ricotta, all cooked in a quick tomato sauce. Add some crusty bread and a salad and you have a great dinner!
Ingredients and Substitutions
Sausage – you can buy loose sausage meat or sausage links (and remove the sausage from the casing yourself at home). Use mild Italian sausage or hot Italian sausage or a bit of both, as you like. To really change up the flavour profile, try chorizo sausage instead!
Ricotta – you only need a cup of ricotta, which can be expensive, so grab the smaller, half container unless you have more uses for the ricotta.
- I think I say this a lot, but it’s worth repeating for this dish. Seasoning is everything! Be sure to add salt and pepper to the ricotta mixture and to the tomato sauce in healthy doses. Salt really brings out the flavours here!
- Like most baked pasta dishes, the re-heated leftovers are almost better than when it’s freshly cooked. So make a big skillet and enjoy from the fridge.
Get the Recipe: Baked Sausage Ricotta Pasta
- 1 lb loose mild and/or hot Italian sausage, (or fresh sausage, removed from casing)
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/2 small onion, diced
- 28 oz canned whole tomatoes , (San Marzano recommended), hand crushed
- 6 leaves fresh basil, chopped (or 1 tsp. dried basil)
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- Salt and pepper
- 2 1/2 - 3 cups dried rigatoni pasta
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 3 Tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded, for topping
- Preheat oven to 425 F. (regular bake setting/not fan assisted)
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. When boiling, add rigatoni and cook until al dente. Drain and set aside.
- On the stove-top, heat a skillet over medium heat. Add loose sausage and cook, stirring regularly, until cooked through and browned in spots. Remove to a plate and set aside.
- To the same skillet, over medium heat, add the onion and cook, stirring until softened. Add garlic and cook and additional 30-45 seconds. Add the hand-crushed tomatoes, chopped basil leaves and a healthy sprinkling of salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer. Add sausage back to the skillet and cook a few minutes, to blend the flavours and warm the sausage again. Taste the sauce and add additional salt and pepper, as needed. (If the flavours seem flat, it needs more salt!). Turn off heat and let stand until pasta is ready.
- When pasta is cooked, add to the skillet with the tomato sauce and sausage. Stir to combine. Spoon dollops of the ricotta mixture randomly on top. Sprinkle with the shredded mozzarella cheese.
- Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until golden and bubbly.
Hi! I’m Jennifer, a home cook schooled by trial and error and almost 40 years of getting dinner on the table! I love to share my favourite recipes, both old and new, together with lots of tips and tricks to hopefully help make your home cooking enjoyable, stress free, rewarding and of course, delicious!