Baked Rigatoni With Fennel, Sausage and Peperonata Recipe

One dish is all you need to make this crowd-pleasing baked rigatoni.

From "One Pot of the Day: 365 Recipes for Every Day of the Year"

  • Sweet Italian sausage paired with fennel brings the flavor.
    Photo courtesy Weldon Owen/Erin Kunkel
  • Make delicious meals in just one pot.
    Cover courtesy Weldon Owen/Erin Kunkel

Yield: 6 servings

One Pot of the Day (Weldon Owen, 2012) by Kate McMillan offers simple, delicious one-dish meals for every day of the year. The following excerpt is McMillan's Baked Rigatoni With Fennel, Sausage and Peperonata.

Golden brown and bubbling, this perennial dish is welcome at the table any time of year. Sweet Italian sausage, colorful peppers, and fragrant fennel add heft to this one-pan baked pasta. A touch of cream finishes the dish and rounds out the tangy tomato sauce.


• 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for greasing
• 1 pound rigatoni
• 1 fennel bulb
• 3⁄4 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed, crumbled
• 1 each red, yellow, and orange bell pepper, seeded and cut into matchsticks
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
• 1 teaspoon sugar
• 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
• 1 cup tomato sauce
• 1 1⁄2 cups heavy cream
• 2 cups shredded fontina cheese
• 1⁄4 cup grated Parmesan


1. Preheat oven to 425 F.

2. Lightly oil a 9-by-13-inch baking dish; set aside.

3. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and place in large bowl; set aside.

4. Remove and discard stalks and core from the fennel bulb and dice the bulb; set aside.

5. In a frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add the crumbled sausage and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Add fennel and cook until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from pan and add to pasta.

6. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in pan. Add bell peppers and a pinch each of salt and black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until bell peppers are slightly tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Add sugar and vinegar. Continue cooking until vinegar has reduced to syrup, 1 to 2 minutes. Add tomato sauce and cream. Cook while stirring until lightly thickened, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to bowl with pasta mixture. Add fontina, and stir well.

7. Pour pasta mixture into prepared dish and top with Parmesan. Bake until top is golden brown and sauce is bubbling around edges, 10 to 15 minutes. Cool slightly and serve.

More from One Pot of the Day:

Corned Beef and Cabbage

Reprinted with permission from One Pot of the Day: 365 Recipes for Every Day of the Year by Kate McMillan and published by Weldon Owen © 2012.

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