Rigatoni Bake with Italian Sausage and Cannellini Beans

I planned out our entire week's "dinner menu" on Sunday and only last night did I realize 4 out of the 5 recipes I'm making are pasta recipes. The other one is a rice-based recipe. See, I told you we eat a ton of rice and pasta! 

We. love. pasta. Especially, when I find amazing recipes like this one. 

I don't often buy rigatoni. We usually just stick with fettuccine, spaghetti or penne, but I'm glad I found a recipe that called for a different type of pasta. To be honest, I seriously can't remember the last time I had rigatoni. I'd be safe saying it's been years, probably. No idea why, though. I certainly don't have anything against this cylindrical noodle. 

I found this recipe in my old Cook Yourself Thin cookbook. What I loved about this meal is, not only is it so delicious, but J helped me cook it! We enjoy cooking together, and he usually assists me with lifting and draining heavy, hot pasta pots. It's always important to have some brawn in the kitchen, and not just beauty and brains. :P


Staying mostly true to the original recipe, I swapped the Pecorino Romano cheese for Shredded Parmesan cheese because that's all I had in my fridge, and adjusted a few other ingredients for convenience.


  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 large head of broccoli, cut into florets. (I used frozen broccoli florets to save time.)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 3/4 lb of Rigatoni
  • 1 Tbsp of olive oil, plus more for pan
  • 1 lb Italian-style turkey sausage with fennel. Remove casing if sausage is uncooked. Slice thinly if sausage is precooked. (J doesn't like turkey sausage so I used regular Italian sausage.)
  • 1 can of cannellini, rinsed and drained
  • 2/3 lb of skim mozzarella, grated, 1/4 cup reserved (I used shredded mozzarella.)
  • 3/4 cup of skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup of chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup of Pecorino Romano cheese, finely grated, 1/4 cup reserved (I used shredded parmesan.)
  • 1/2 tsp of ground pepper
  • 3 Tbsp of breadcrumbs
  • 1 Tbsp of olive oil


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly oil a 9 x 13 inc baking dish. 

2. In a pot, bring water to a boil and add 1/2 tsp of salt, broccoli and garlic. Simmer broccoli and garlic for 5 minutes. Remove the broccoli and garlic to a large bowl. 

3. Bring the water back to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente. 

4. While the pasta cooks, heat the oil in a large dutch oven set over medium-high heat. Add sausage and the garlic cloves from the broccoli and cook, stirring until sausage is fully cooked and no longer pink, about 4 to 5 minutes. (If using cooked sausage, it should be ready in about 2 to 3 minutes.)

5. After sausage is cooked, turn off heat and drain excess oil, leaving behind just a tablespoon or two. Discard the garlic, and then combine the broccoli with the sausage in the dutch oven.  

6. Toss the drained pasta with the sausage mixture. Add beans, stock, 3/4 cup of cheeses, and all of the ricotta cheese. Add the remaining salt and pepper. Gently toss. 

7. Transfer the mixture to the baking dish. Top with breadcrumbs, remaining 1/4 cup of Pecornio Romano (or parmesan) and 1/4 cup of mozzarella and drizzle with olive oil. 

8. Bake for 25 minutes, until heated through and crusty on top. 

We will definitely be making this recipe again. It's filling and makes a lot for leftovers. I can't wait to have it again!