Baked Rigatoni

Rigatoni al Forno

Yes, I realize for many of us in the Northern Hemisphere, Summer is in full swing, with temps soaring well into the 90’s and, incredibly for some, beyond. I, also, know that for many, firing up the oven isn’t necessarily something we’re prone to do when our homes are already sizzling. So, why am I featuring a baked pasta dish today? The answer is simple. Mozzarella. I had plenty of mozzarella in my fridge, left over from the first round of mozzarella making and I needed to do something with it. And lest there be any doubt, when I have a surplus of something, anything, my go-to dish is pasta of some sort. So, considering that mozzarella “performs” so well when baked, I decided to make an “al Forno” recipe.

Growing up, rigatoni was a frequent “guest” at our dinner table, although we kids called them “flat tires.”  I don’t recall Mom ever baking rigatoni, though. It wasn’t until I was on my own that I started experimenting with baking penne and rigatoni. Generally, these dishes are easy to assemble, with left-overs that keep well and are easily re-heated. Perfect for my one person household. So, when presented with a bounty of mozzarella, I chose flat tires to help me out.

Normally, when I prepare a baked pasta, I coat the cooked pasta with sauce and cheese of some sort before topping it off with shredded mozzarella. With this dish, however, I reverse things a bit. Butter and Pecorino Romano cheese are used to coat the partially cooked rigatoni but, as you’ll soon see, the mozzarella is chopped into cubes and stirred into the pasta. Once mixed, Asiago cheese is used to top off the dish before baking. Doing so gives one both contrasting flavors and textures. The strong-tasting Asiago, melted until golden, hides not just the sharp Pecorino Romano but the gooey milder tasting mozzarella cubes spread throughout the pasta, as well. It’s a three cheese combination that I enjoy well enough that I don’t really mind turning on the oven in a heat wave.

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Rigatoni al Forno Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 lb rigatoni
  • 1 quart tomato sauce (vegetarians use marinara)
  • 8 oz Mozzarella
  • 8 oz Asiago cheese
  • 4 tbsp butter, cut into chunks + a little more to grease the baking dish (optional)
  • ¾ cup Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
  • fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish (optional)

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350˚F.
  2. Lightly grease a 9 X 13″ baking dish with cooking spray or butter.
  3. Add rigatoni to a large pot of heavily salted, boiling water. Cook the pasta for half of the time suggested on the package for al dente pasta. Drain and hold until needed.
  4. Warm sauce and maintain a low simmer.
  5. Slice and cut the mozzarella cheese into ½ inch cubes. Set aside.
  6. Use a box grater to shred the Asiago cheese. Set aside.
  7. Once the pasta has been semi-cooked and drained, return the rigatoni to the now empty pot.
  8. Add the butter and then the Pecorino Romano to the hot rigatoni, stirring after each until the pasta is well-coated.
  9. Add the tomato sauce to the pot and stir.
  10. Add the mozzarella to the pot and gently stir until evenly distributed.
  11. Place the pasta in a greased 9 x 13″ baking dish. Evenly sprinkle the shredded Asiago cheese on top.
  12. Bake in pre-heated 350˚F oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until the Asiago cheese is melted to your liking.
  13. Allow to rest 5 minutes before serving, garnished with parsley, if desired.

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Someone forgot the parsley.

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Variations

For whatever reason, some may find Asiago cheese unappealing. If that’s true for you, there are other cheeses that can be used to top off your dish. Fontina is a good alternative, as is ricotta salata. The choice is really yours, just try to find a cheese that offers a contrasting flavor to the mozzarella. You won’t be disappointed.

Although I used rigatoni for this dish, you can certainly use any of the tube-shaped pastas. Just avoid the ribbon-like pastas. They are not well suited to baked dishes of this type.

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By any other name … 

“Queen Elizabeth”

(Because there is no King George III rose.)

Happy 4th of July!

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127 thoughts on “Baked Rigatoni

  1. This looks like the perfect comfort food. I could make this tomorrow in the AC.
    Love the photo of the tomato and pasta but also the “wink” in the first shot! Fun.
    Queen Elizabeth looks better in your photo than at the Jubilee. Stunning colors.
    Hope you have a good 4th. I am with all the family so we will be eating well. Details to follow.

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    • 😉 This is a great comfort dish Ruth, though not something I would normally turn to in a heat wave. Even so, melty cheese is good no matter what the weather is like outdoors — at least in my book.
      A group of us will be gathering at a friend’s home before heading to the Lake to watch fireworks — if we don’t melt on the way. Today’s a big day for you and I can think of no better way for you to spend it than to be with your family. Happy birthday and have a great 4th!

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  2. I’m not minding this recipe at all, especially as I’m sitting on top of my heater while it blows a gale and pours down outside. Thank you for posting something perfect for those of us who are Down Under! It looks delicious and like wonderful comfort food. I’ve never called rigatoni ‘flat tyres’ before xx

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    • I was hoping you’d drop by, Charlie. I thought my friends from the deep, deep South might enjoy this dish. And I have to admit, as hot as it was when I made it — and it is now, for that matter — the dish is all cheese and pasta. How could I not like it? I’ll be making mozzarella again very soon. Chances are I’ll be making this dish, or something very similar, in the near future.

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    • We share the same cheesy philosophy. There’s no such thing as too much cheese and, when you add pasta into the mix, the result is perfection. And believe me, when winter leaves you and gets back here, I’ll be re-visiting this dish a few times.

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  3. Well we don’t have a heat wave here so turning the oven on is an option to keep warm ! But seriously John, 3 cheeses baked to perfection, count me in – I’m going to have to find Asiago or Fontina just to assuage my curiosity, I know of a great Italian deli in London that is convenient for me to pop into when I’m in town working. And I hope you have a super day whatever you choose to do. I’m sure looking at the beautiful rose will cool you down 🙂

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    • Thank you, Claire. Yes, it’s a heat wave, all right, but there are fireworks to see and we’ve not missed them in years. We’ll be in the park by the lake, cocktails in hand. It wouldn’t be the 4th otherwise.
      This is a great dish, Claire, and if you’ve a choice, go with the Asiago. It is a sharper cheese and offers more of a contrast with the mozzarella. The Fontina, though, is very good, too. In fact, buy both cheeses. Use the Asiago to top off this dish and snack on the Fontina while the rigatoni is in the oven. 🙂

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  4. This is one dish that is totally worth turning on the oven. With all that cheese and fresh mozzarella I think this will be amazing!
    I am still looking for a place I can trust 100% to use their cow milk to make mozzarella, I can’t wait to try it

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    • Thanks, Sawsan, that’s how I feel about it. If I’m going to fire up the oven in this heat wave, it had better be a dish worthy of it. This one, for me, is it.
      Are you familiar with Celi’s blog, the kitchen’s garden? She and her husband live on a farm south of Chicago and have a dairy cow that recently had a calf and is now producing milk. Celi uses some of the raw milk for making cheese without pasteurization. She recently shared a post about milking Daisy but what I found particularly interesting was the steps she takes to insure the milk is “clean”. If you’re interested, you can read her post HERE.

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      • Thank you for the link John. I know and love Cecila’s blog and remember reading the post. The problem is that here you can easily get fresh goat milk, you can find a shepard and agree to meet him at the time of milking and buy as much milk as you need. Cow’s milk is not as easy to find. Most farms sell their milk to factories and won’t sell you a couple of kg and I have yet to find one as clean and caring as Cecilia

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        • Hello, Sawsan. I thought you were probably aware of her blog but just wanted to be sure. I have seen where people use dried milk powder to make cheese. By itself, it hasn’t enough milkfat so heavy cream must be added. I don’t think it would taste as good as raw milk, however, and would probably taste like pasteurized dairy products. Seems like extra work for no added benefit.
          I have heard that people make mozzarella from goat’s milk. Let me see if I can find a recipe or two for you. You may be enjoying homemade mozzarella yet! 🙂

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  5. Oh my, John! I do hope this recipe didn’t heat up your house too much; it was 97F as we left Midway yesterday! I haven’t tried making mozzarella yet, but it’s on the list for the weekend. We only have one social engagement on the agenda on Friday night (a progressive dinner with two other neighbours) so my Saturday is all clear for mozzarella making!
    Stay cool!

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    • Well, Eva, it did heat up the kitchen, all right. Max, who is normally glued to my side when I’m cooking, fled the kitchen as soon as the oven began to heat up. I enjoy this dish so much, though, that I forgot all about the heat when I sat down to dinner.
      Today we’re going to hit 99˚ and tomorrow 101˚ is forecast. Relief is coming this weekend, though. Thank heavens!
      Good luck with the mozzarella! I can’t wait to hear what you think of it.

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  6. A technique I’ve never seen before…Can’t wait to try it!
    On the subject of hot days and hot ovens: The Butterfly’s favorite dinner growing up was baked ziti (I always mixed my sauce with riccotta and parm and a beaten egg, then stirred-in the hot pasta, topped with mozz, and baked). Her birthday is June 30th, a hot day, even in a ‘normal’ summer. One guess what she asked for, every year… 🙂

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    • Your baked ziti recipe sounds wonderful, Marie. No wonder she asks for it every year. I would but I was a January baby — not quite the same impact. My baked ziti uses a cheese-flavored bechamel but that could change. Are you planning on posting your recipe anytime soon? (Hint, hint) Have a great 4th!

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  7. John, what an inspired post!
    Another deep, deep south girl ………where an antartic cold blast is blowing tonight……….I’ll send cool thoughts your way; enjoy your 4th celebrations.

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    • An antarctic blast sounds wonderful right now! Actually, I’m very fortunate. This area hasn’t lost power or been inconvenienced by anything other than the heat. Others haven’t been nearly so lucky.
      How about we barter? You send me a blast and I’ll send your a few degrees of warmth. I’ll even make sure they’re Celsius. Deal?

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        • Well, if the the forecasts are correct, cooler temps will arrive this weekend. I guess those breezes didn’t fly direct but had a couple stopovers along the way. Still, speaking for many, thanks for sending them to us. 🙂

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  8. I do not mind turning on the oven for this at all John. With all this air conditioning 24/7, this dish is very, very welcome around here. Even if it is 100 degrees outside, nothing’s ever gonna keep me from pasta! Or cheese! I already know this will be a hit. I’m hungry for a good, warm pasta dish. It’s been too long, you know? Your photos are scrumptious too! And the one of the rose is so beautiful….It’s funny there isn’t a King George rose, you’d think he would have named 1 or 20 after himself 🙂

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    • What? Too long since you’ve had pasta? Sacrilege! You must correct that ASAP.
      I haven’t central air and my 2 little window units, bless their hearts, are working overtime. My home may not be the coolest on the block but there’s no humidity in here and that makes a world of difference. Yesterday, power in this area “blinked” a few times around 2:00 PM. Thankfully, the only problem encountered was resetting a few clocks and we never lost power. May our luck continue!
      I’m sure that, at one time, there was a King George rose. Roses, like anything else, fall out of fashion. I had to order Judy Garland from a place that specializes in vintage roses because she is no longer in circulation. Poor Judy. Even her rose can’t catch a break!
      I hope you and your Hubby have a great 4th, Sarah!

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      • Rigatoni tonight! I haven’t left the house all day because of the heat, so it was a good day to make it. I’m glad it’s comfortable in your place, John. That’s the main thing. I hope you still are today….one. more. day. of this they say, then we’ll return to our normal temps for at least a few days. In the meantime, me and my four furry pets will be here. In the A/C. Cooking 🙂

        Poor Judy is right! I love all the names of the roses. I never knew there was so many. Love it!

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        • Well I sure hope you guys like this pasta, Sarah. I’d feel terrible if you heated up your kitchen and didn’t like it. Wait a minute. It’s pasta, cheese, and butter. You’re gonna love it!

          You would be surprised at the number of “celebrities” with rose named after them. Think of an old time movie star and there’s surely a rose name after her or him. It’s amazing but, as I mentioned, some of the older stars’ roses are out of circulation. Don’t tell my girls but a couple of them were “2nd choices.” Mum’s the word.

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          • Shhhhhh! Mum’s the word here too. 🙂 I am curious though, to read about the celebrity names. If there’s a Myrna Loy rose, I need 1 or 12 🙂

            Rigatoni = BIG HIT!!!! We just got back from out of town for a few days, and I’m already planning to make it again this weekend.

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          • There are an unbelievable number of celebrity roses! Unfortunately, Myrna Loy isn’t one of them these days. I googled her and I got all kinds of combinations with “Myrna Loy” and “rose” but not one “Myrna Loy rose”. Then I tried my 2 heritage rose sites and neither had her listed. It’s not looking good for Myrna, I’m afraid. I’ll check some more — it’s become a quest now. 🙂

            Glad you enjoyed the rigatoni. For that reason alone, I’ll keep searching for Myrna!

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  9. It’s been raining in London for months, so no sign of summer. I’ve had the oven on for the last 3 days in a row – bring on the baked pasta (especially yours)! Happy 4th July 😉

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    • Thanks, MD. You’ve got too much rain and we’re quickly approaching drought conditions with an unrelenting heat wave. Even so, I’ll be going back into mozzarella production very soon so I know I’ll be making this dish again, no matter what the temperature is outdoors. 🙂

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      • We’ve got a hosepipe ban but it’s been raining for 2 months, just about every day all day. I don”t think we are supposed to have monsoons in England but it’s definitely like monsoon season.
        Somehow I can’t stop cooking no matter what the temperature 😉

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        • Me, too. When I think about it, it was ridiculous preparing a baked pasta dish with temps near 100˚ but I had the mozzarella, the pasta, and the sauce. What else was I to do? 🙂

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  10. Ooooh, I’ve always wanted a good rigatoni recipe and this one looks amazing…so rich and cheesy, plus the tomatoes…and I’d probably have to top it with some basil. This looks good enough to make me turn on my oven when it’s 100 degrees outside! Happy 4th of July, John! Enjoy the fireworks!

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    • Thanks, Betsy. I do enjoy this dish and just for the reason you’ve stated: the cheese. Yeah, I dropped the ball when it came to garnishing the final dish. I forgot all about the parsley and lI, too, often use basil. I’ve a seafood pasta coming up in which both are used — and I actually have photographic proof! I hope you have a great 4th, too, Betsy!

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  11. Maine has been cool enough in the evening that we sleep with the windows closed. A little oven time won’t hurt in the slightest. What a great way to use your homemade mozzarella. Have a wonderful time at the celebrations on the lake.

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    • Cool enough for closed windows. How wonderful that sounds! Even in Michigan, where my Zia lives, the temps have reached the 90’s. That’s pretty rare for this time of year.
      Thanks, Karen, for you comment and holiday wishes. I hope you, too, have a fantastic 4th of July!

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  12. Morning john, I guess you are beginning to mix up a thermos of your favourite cocktail and packing yummies for the park today. .. you will be hot hot hot, but the fireworks will be grand.. I love this kind of pasta dish and often mix the cheeses .. this must be sublime with those flavours. Do you label your roses? Or do you just know all their names. How beautiful your garden must be. My roses are rubbish – blown to death or frozen to the graft. so sad. Weirdly i have a few rootstock roses that have come back and clambered all over and though they are not delicate they are scented which is a bonus.. have a lovely day.. c..

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    • Good afternoon, Celi! Yes, I’m getting things together but it’s going to be a hot one. It’s still 101˚ with a heat index of 106˚ right now. Luckily, my friends’ home is only a couple blocks from the park & Lake. We’ll bring the stuff over there and set up camp relatively easily. I’ll be happy if there’s even the slightest of breezes while we’re out there — and no mosquitoes!!!
      This is a great pasta dish. I bet even better if you use your home-made cheese. Yum!
      I may not remember what I had for lunch yesterday but I do remember my roses, especially “my girls.” They were the first and I selected them the year I was recuperating. (Yes, the pain meds were pretty strong.) I ordered them that Summer and they came the following Spring. In the following years, I’ve added 2 other beds and I’ll be sharing pics of them in the weeks ahead.
      I have to be honest, though, the roses aren’t doing well this year. They started out great but are looking bad right now. So bad that I won’t even share a couple’s pics this year. It’s still early in the season and I may be able to get them back on track — I hope! Funny how some of those old stock-type roses have some of the strongest scents.
      I hope you have a great 4th, Celi. Try to stay cool!

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  13. This sounds just wonderful. I am back home and it’s hot as can be, but I have to say I’m tempted! Poor old king George with no rose of his own. Still, I’m glad to read you’re keeping Judy’s torch lit for her…

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    • Well, at least you were spared some or the oppressive heat while in NYC. It’s hot there but still a bit cooler than further West. I imagine you’re glad to be home but I bet you could do with a cool breeze or two, eh?
      Yes, Judy will always have a home here. I tried to plant poppies around her but they never caught on. I’ve something else next to her now. You’ll see them next week.

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  14. I have a Queen Elizabeth rose, too, John. So pretty, isn’t it? I’d love to see your rose garden. You appear to have some very special specimens! When my son was at home I’d make some version of this all the time, simply because we all loved it, but he could really pack it away! Summer heat notwithstanding, you’ve made me hungry for this really tasty dish. I’d also call it comfort food! Thank you…and to you, too, Happy 4th. Debra

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    • I just knew you did, Debra! Have you a Princess Diana, too? I don’t. No offense to the Princess, but, I had to draw the royalty line somewhere. I had a Queen Mary but she didn’t survive a winter a couple years ago. QE2 replaced her.
      There are so many variations of this dish, aren’t they? It’s cheese and pasta. Who doesn’t love that? (Dietary allergies aside, of course.) As much as I enjoyed it, I’ll be laying off the oven for a few days. It is just plain too hot!

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  15. John, this sounds fabulous! My hubby would love all that cheese! Reckon I should make this next week to keep to my promise of making pasta once a week.
    Hope my comment gets through – we are still having hassles with our internet.
    🙂 Mandy

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    • Your comment came through loud and clear! Sorry you’re still having internet problems. It can be so frustrating. This would make a great pasta for your “pasta of the week.” especially given your cold weather. Go for it, Mandy! 🙂

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  16. What a scrumptiuos dish!!!! I love baked pasta and baked dishes even during summer!!! In Naples they have many baked recipes with summer produce (think about Eggplant Parmesan!)…Bravo John!!!

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    • Mille grazie, Ambrosiana! Having so much mozzarella in my refrigerator meant I’d use it in some sort of baked dish. Had this been later in the season, I probably would have made Eggplant Parmesan with eggplant from the farmers market. Still, for me, I can never go wrong with a pasta dish, baked or not. I’m easy to please. 🙂

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    • Thanks, David. I saw a local news report and a young woman put cookies onto a cookie sheet and placed it on her car’s dashboard, with the car parked in the sun. Yep. The cookies baked. Cooler days ahead. 90˚ on Saturday. Only 90˚!!!!!

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  17. We love pasta around my house. Especially rigatoni. Can’t wait to try this one on my family. Thanks for the well-detailed instructions.

    BE ENCOURAGED! BE BLESSED!

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  18. Another delicious plate of pure comfort from John, man of many cheeses! Love the mix of flavors, and of course love that it’s so low in fat! 🙂 And those roses of yours are exquisite – not even wilting in that heat of yours! You must feed them really well.

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    • Thank you so much, Spree. Yes, you’ll find that all of my recipes are very low cal. This one, I think, is only about 1000 Weight Watcher points. See?
      I wish all of my roses were doing so well. The heat is taking its toll. Hopefully, the forecasts are correct and this heat wave will break this weekend, giving me a chance to do some work on their beds. Right now, it is far too hot to work outdoors. Today’s heat index is going to hit 115˚!!!!!

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  19. I have to warn you…this is comment may be a bit all over the place because I have a little to say on a lot of topics. First and foremost, if they don’t like Asiago, I say who needs them?! That’s just insane. On another note, those tomatoes might be the most gorgeous, perfect specimens of tomatoes I have ever seen. Did you grow them?!

    This baked rigatoni dish could make me write poetry or sing songs I believe (I don’t do either well so watch out) because it is just oozing with deliciousness. I love that you coated the pasta in Pecorino first. The texture that must lend to it sounds amazing. Finally, I am so glad I don’t live anywhere near you…I would annoyingly show up on your doorstep more times than you could count…the minute I had a whiff of any of that cheese you make. And I would be the largest person I know…I am sure of it. Hope your Fourth was very happy. Take care. Oh, I have been thoroughly enjoying your rose photos as well! Keep ’em coming.

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    • I don’t know of anyone that doesn’t like Asiago but, then again, there’s always one. The tomatoes aren’t mine. 😦 I won’t be picking mine for a couple more weeks yet.
      You’re always welcome, Geni, to come for dinner but, I have to warn you, there may be a line. The two boys that live above me have no qualms about asking what I’m cooking and is there enough to “share.” Once, I brought them a tray of lasagna and the youngest said, “Well, it’s about time!”
      And there are more roses to come. Stay tuned …

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    • For as long as I can remember, there’s always been room at our table for another person — and a few more after that. Mom kept a quart of sauce in her freezer just in case one of us brought a friend for dinner. Suddenly, our dinner would include a big platter of pasta. It’s a tradition I’m not about to ignore. So, come on! I’ll set a place for you at the table. 🙂

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  20. Amazing looking pasta, and a perfect use for extra mozzarella! I love how gooey it looks with all the cheese! Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve commented… I’ve still been following you on my reader, though! You’ve had amazing looking recipes, and I loved the mozzarella making post. It’s my favorite cheese 🙂

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    • Thanks, Stefanie. I bet you’d really like the mozzarella. It is way good when made at home. And if is is your favorite cheese, then you really have to give this a try, once things settle down a bit. You will not be disappointed. 🙂

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  21. God Damn (oops) John…I don’t care what temp it is I’d eat this any day. The addition of asiago and some butter speaks to me. I’m just finishing some chicken in the crockpot (attempting to keep things cool), but I would happily exchange three helpings of your rig for my chicken.

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    • Thanks, Jed. If we lived nearer each other, I’d gladly drop off a tray. Since that isn’t at all likely to happen, might I suggest you start shopping for Asiago? I bet Wyoming is just loaded with Italian markets. I’m sure of it! 🙂

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      • LOL. Would you believe it that we actually had asiago is the fridge up til the other day. Sure it took a trip to Montana to procure the cheese, but it was worth.

        Living near each unlikely to happen? Not too fast there my friend. Liz is searching for jobs and I’d have no problem ending up in northern Chicago. 😉

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        • I didn’t think Wyoming would have anything but certainly didn’t think that Montana would. I shouldn’t laugh, though. It’s not like rural Michigan is known for it’s Italian goods. I bring my Zia a Care package when I visit, filled with the Italian goodies she cannot buy.
          As for moving here, I came here 32 years ago and haven’t regretted it one day. In fact, I had several opportunities to move but turned them all down. It’s my kinda town. 🙂

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          • It’s 93˚ at 10:15 pm with no breeze whatsoever and tomorrow will be yet another 100˚+ day. My once dry wit abandoned me long ago. All I’ve got left is “My Kinda Town” and “Sweet Home, Chicago”. It’s not pretty.

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          • Not fun at all. We went camping for the night to escape the heat here. Thank God the wind is blowing and it rained today. Otherwise it is just as bad here…well not really since there is no humidity.

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    • Thank you. THat is this dish’s draw: 3 cheeses! And I really like the little mozzarella “bombs” mixed into the pasta. The dish has a few tasty surprises in it and, if you make it, I hope you enjoy it as much as I. 🙂

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  22. What beautiful roses, John. Our July mornings are often cool and foggy — I wouldn’t mind cranking up the oven to make a batch of your rigatoni (but it wouldn’t be as good as yours because I haven’t made my own cheese yet!).

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    • Thank you, Sharyn. I have to say, though, if you were to make this recipe, I bet you would add your own touches to it and the final dish would be superior to mine. You’ve a real knack for taking a recipe and making it your own and if you make this rigatoni, please come back and tell us how it went. 🙂

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  23. I would turn my oven on any time of year for baked rig. It is easily one of my go-to comfort dishes. And I’ve been on such a pasta kick lately. It’s odd…I went virtually all fall/winter/spring without so much as a real pasta craving and since summer hit, the craving is in full swing! Several of your pasta dishes have graced our table and hit the spot. I have no doubt this one will be making the list soon. 🙂

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    • Thanks, Kristy. It makes me happy to think about your family dining on some of these pasta dishes. It will make my Zia happy, too, when I tell her. Like you, I’ve been on a pasta kick lately, too. In fact, next Wednesday will be another pasta post. These baked dishes are the best, though, no matter how many mouths need feeding. This recipe can serve a family or a single person, the leftovers keep and re-heat very well. If you do make this one, I hope you all enjoy it.

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    • Thank you, Marina. I’ve seen your name before and it always brings a smile. It is present in my family, in one form or another. My father’s family immigrated from San Marino. Within that family, he was named “Marino”, there’s a young woman named “Marina” and another named “Marinalla.”
      I’ve been to you blog and liked it, as well. You’ll be seeing more of me over there. Thanks for dropping by.

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  24. Are you suprised to know your heatwave featured on this evening’s news!
    Just looking at all that heat helped us to defrost a few degrees………it’s our coldest July in 30 years.
    Oh I do hope the weekend brings you some cooler weather and your beloved girls have a chance to recover.
    Now that I have a wedge of asiago; I can make your rigatoni tomorrow………

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    • We made the news! How I wish it was for having more pleasant temperatures. I’m lucky, though. I do not have to work in this heat and haven’t had any problems with the electricity. Many haven’t been so fortunate. Today is to be the last of it — at least for a while. It will be nice to be able to sit in the yard again.
      Good luck with the rigatoni. I hope you like it as much as I do!

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  25. This looks absolutely cheesy and delicious. My other half makes one with a bechamel on top that is to die for as well. It’s going to be 102 here today and it’s a bit smokey from the fires up north. I have a feeling this is going to be a ferocious summer. I am going to try this John. It looks like comfort food. Susie

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    • It’s the kind of comfort food I really enjoy, Susie. Your husband’s pasta dish sounds delicious. I make a pastistio that’s covered in a feta-flavored bechamel before baking.
      It is supposed to hit 97˚ today, with a heat index over 100˚ again. This is the last of it, though. Temps are to be in the low 80’s for the early part of next week. It will be a mad rush to get everything done outside that I’ve put off for the past week. If I never see a 100˚ day again, it will be too soon!

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  26. Buongiorno! This is a wonderful recipe and a real favourite with us. Actually, my mum makes a great pasta al forno and whenever we get together she makes it for Big Man as he says hers is the best (and I´ll agree with that)! It´s hot here too, but I can put the oven on, escape outside, and then when it´s done leave it too cool down a little as I quite enjoy eating it at room temperature 🙂 Another beautiful rose – I was reading some of the comments and replies. Did you have some treatment a while back then? Do hope all is well now…

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    • Buongiorno, Tanya! Welcome home!
      I really enjoy a good baked pasta dish. You can easily adjust the ingredients to suit your own tastes and the result is just plain good!
      Yes, I had a bad spell a number of years ago and the recovery period was rather lengthy. I’m fine now, though, and just look at the beautiful roses I have as a result of that Summer. Who knew that incredibly strong pain meds would bring out the Broadway in me? 🙂

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  27. You’ve really got me salivating when you described the Asiago, Pecorino Romano and the mozzarella cheeses in the dish… I really need to fire my oven on to make this!

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    • This is how I felt when I read your recipe for tiramisu — and no oven required!
      Baked pasta dishes are almost universally enjoyed and, well, with all of that cheese and pasta, how could they not be?

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  28. I’m catching up on blog reading.. I’ve got a mere 100 left to work through and decided I needed to a quick glance through and found you!! I can’t believe I almost missed this three cheese dish full of heavenly flat tires! We have no problem with heat here and I think this is going to be my Sunday dinner tonight. I’ve been cooking way too healthy and the idea of stirring soft chunks of mozzarella through a dish of soft pasta just makes my knees weak.. and not from sun-stroke! Your gorgeous and lush Queen Elizabeth rose is making me blush with envy.. (I blush purple not green).. what exceptional colors, I’m truly sorry to hear that your roses are blooming too quickly for you.. I hope this one lasts a while and doesn’t perish in the heat (nor you!!) Cheerfully, Smidge

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    • Hi, Barb. I know what you mean. You take a day or two off and you come back to 100 or so posts & comments to handle. I’m still trying to come up with a more efficient system.
      You make me laugh with your, “I’ve been cooking way too healthy…” I hope you enjoyed this dish, if you prepared it for your Sunday dinner. I know I’ll be making it again, once I post the recipe for Italian mozzarella. Heat shouldn’t be a problem. Our heatwave “broke” yesterday afternoon and we can go outside once again and actually do stuff. I cut my lawn!!!! Tomorrow I’ll attack one of the rose beds. Hopefully, I’ll be able to turn things around. Time will tell.

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      • I’m so glad to hear that.. I’m not surprised because we had the hottest day ever yesterday. I think what ever “front” was holding the heat down east and the cold here must have moved on:D Hooray for you and your girls.. they will be sighing with relief!!

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        • Whatever it was, I hope it’s gone for good, Barb. I spend plenty of time indoors during winter. I absolutely hate doing it in Summer. And with temps that high, I’d little choice. Even Max refused to go outside. Now, that’s hot!

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    • Thanks, Greg. We were more prone to have baked lasagna, shells, cannelloni, and manicotti than to be served baked rigatoni, penne, or even ziti. I guess Mom had to draw the line somewhere. 🙂

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    • Believe me, I understand. Your triple digit temps started before ours and lasted just as long. Had it not been for my surplus of mozzarella, this recipe would not have been posted until much later in the year. Not to worry. It will be here, waiting for you, when you’re ready. 🙂

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  29. I’ll turn on the oven for this! I love your tip on buttering the noodles with the romano, what a great idea! I also like the mix of cheeses, Asiago is fine with me! The heat in Atlanta has not bothered this former South Floridian one bit! I used my oven year round…if I didn’t we’d never eat yummy baked dishes!! As for Queen Elizabeth, she’s gorgeous…and would look fabulous dried 🙂 Hope you enjoyed a great 4th!!

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    • The 4th was great, Linda. We went to a lakeside park to watch fireworks and it was surprisingly pleasant. There was a steady breeze that kept the heat in check. I hope yours was equally as nice.
      Mine is an old building without central air. I’ve a couple window units but my kitchen is located between them. It gets cooled a bit but certainly not enough to compensate for turning on the oven when it’s over 100˚ outside. I must admit, though, I really did enjoy my rigatoni dinner that night. 🙂

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    • Well, Mar, this dish did heat up my kitchen but I really did enjoy my dinner that night. I think I’ll be making it again after I post the 2nd and last mozzarella recipe. I can’t imagine triple digit temps being a problem again.

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  30. Way too hot to turn on the oven. Your roses are doing so well even with the heat wave. Going to post pics of your rose garden? How many varieties do you have? You must spend a great deal of time taking care of your girls, they are so gorgeous.

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    • Thank you, Norma, for your compliments. My roses have taken a beating in this heat. I spent a good part of this morning working in one of the beds. They bloomed early this year and haven’t done much since. Whatever did bloom, only did so briefly in the heatwave of the last 2 weeks. There really isn’t much to photograph. I’m hoping to get them to rebound before Fall. If so, I’ll gladly post more complete photos. Fingers crossed!

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    • Thanks, Christina. We’re cut from the same cloth. My Zia and I joke that we could eat pasta daily and never complain. Yes, it was stifling in my kitchen but, I must admit, it was soo worth it!

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  31. Pingback: Flat Ruthie: Miracle Worker Part 2 | Cardboard Me Travels

    • Thanks again, Judy. This is a great dish. I love the mix of cheeses and how the mozzarella “hides out” in the pasta. Now that Winter is officially here, I’ll be turning to baked pastas much more frequently. Yay!

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