Baked Rigatoni and Zucchini Recipe | PBS Food

Baked Rigatoni and Zucchini

Baked Rigatoni and Zucchini

Baked pastas are my daughter Tanya’s specialty, and they are great to make when you have a large family gathering since you can make it ahead, put it in the oven and serve it later. It also works well for leftovers.

Photo Credit: Tanya Bastianich Manuali


Prep time: 15 Minutes

Cook time: 30-40 Minutes

Yield: Serves 6-8

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  • ½ Teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for the pot
  • ¼ cup -extra--virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 pound medium zucchini, sliced
  • One -28--ounce can whole san marzano tomatoes, crushed by hand
  • 1 loosely packed cup fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 pound rigatoni
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 8 ounces shredded fontina
  • 1 cup grated grana padano


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for pasta.
  3. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  4. Add the onion, and cook until it begins to soften, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the zucchini, and cook until it begins to soften, another 5 minutes.
  6. Add the salt then the crushed tomatoes, slosh the tomato can out with 1 cup water, and add it to the skillet as well.
  7. Bring the sauce to a boil, and simmer just until it thickens, about 8 to 10 minutes, but don’t let the zucchini begin to fall apart. Then toss in the chopped basil.
  8. Meanwhile, cook the rigatoni until al dente, a few minutes shy of the package directions.
  9. Drain the pasta, and toss it in the skillet with the tomato sauce and basil.
  10. Butter a -9–by–13–inch baking dish. In a medium bowl, toss together the two cheeses.
  11. Spread half the pasta and sauce in the baking dish, and top with half the cheese.
  12. Layer the remaining pasta and sauce, then the remaining cheese.
  13. Bake, uncovered, until browned and bubbly, about 20 minutes.
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