I was babysitting my niece and nephew this past weekend and needed to cook them dinner. They can sometimes be picky eaters (like almost every child out there!), so I wanted to make sure that I cooked them a meal that they would eat, but that would also be relatively healthy. I was so happy to have this Rigatoni di Casa recipe in my back pocket to pull out and make for them! They liked the dish and ate a good dinner, but of course still had room for dessert!

 The recipe is simple to make – chop vegetables and make the sauce, cook the pasta, and make a basic white sauce. The recipe calls for ricotta cheese as well, however I prefer cottage cheese so that was a simple replacement; crushed tomatoes could also work in place of diced if your family doesn’t really like tomatoes.

 Served with a salad on the side, this is an easy, complete meal that any family can enjoy!

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Rigatoni di Casa
Prep Time
30 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
10 servings


1 lb (450 g) rigatoni
2 tbsp (30 ml) butter, divided
1 small onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 lb (450 g) lean ground pork (or beef)
2 cloves garlic, minced
28 oz (796 ml) can diced tomatoes
1 bay leaf
2 tsp (10 ml) dried basil
1/2 tsp (2 ml) dried oregano
1/2 tsp (2 ml) dried thyme
3/4 tsp (4 ml) salt, divided
1/2 tsp (2 ml) pepper
2 tbsp (30 ml) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups (375 ml) milk
1 cup (250 ml) cottage cheese (or ricotta)
1 1/2 cups (375 ml) shredded mozzarella


  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta 11 minutes or until aldente. Drain well, then return to pot.
  2. Meanwhile, melt 1 tbsp (15 ml) butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, and celery, cook 2 minutes. Add beef and garlic. Using a fork to break up meat, stir until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add tomoatoes, herbs, 1/2 tsp (2 ml) salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil; simmer covered, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes while preparing white sauce.
  3. Melt remaining butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Sprinkle with flour and remaining salt. Whisk about 1 minutes. Gradually whisk in milk. Bring to aboil then reduce heat; whisk 3 to 5 minutes until smooth and thickened.
  4. Preheat broiler.
  5. Uncover meat sauce and simmer 5 more minutes. Discard bay leaf. Add meat sauce to drained pasta. Heat if needed. Transfer to 9x13-inch (3L) casserole dish.
  6. Top with dollops of Ricotta. Drizzle white sauce over top, spread, if needed, to cover. Sprinkle with mozzarella. Broil 2 to 5 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.