Thursday, October 10, 2013

Gluten Free Baked Pasta

For dinner last night, I made baked rigatoni.  This dish was inspired by my mom's baked orecchiette.  My daughters love orecchiette, or as they like to call it, hat pasta, but I have not found a gluten free version of this noodle. 

My favorite gluten free pasta is BiAglut.  In my opinion, this pasta is as close as it gets to wheat-filled pasta.  It is made in Italy, but the company is owned by Heinz.  I was first introduced to it by the owner of the Gluten Free Zone during a trip back home to Pittsburgh.  I have asked him what his favorite pasta is twice in the last year, and both times, he told me BiAglut.  It is not available for purchase anywhere in Orlando, so I buy it in bulk from amazon or  BiAglut Rigatoni is gluten, milk, and egg free.  It contains cornstarch, potato flour, lupin flour, lupin proteins, and mono and diglycerides (emulsifier).  It is not recommended for individuals with peanut allergies because they might react to the lupin flour and lupin proteins. 

This is the first time I have purchased BelGioioso Fresh Mozzarella that is sliced and ready to serve.  I just had to cut it into strips before layering it on top of the pasta. 

My mom's quick cook tomato sauce is perfect for this recipe.  I love the fresh taste and sweetness of the sauce.  

Baked Rigatoni might be my new favorite pasta dish.  I love the sweet sauce, the gooey melted mozzarella, and the basil mixed with this great pasta noodle.  I have made this recipe with BiAglut Shells (Pipes), but I prefer the rigatoni.  

Baked Pasta


2 recipes of Mom's Quick Cook Tomato Sauce (see below)
Grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
16 ounces of fresh  mozzarella 
1 pound of gluten free pasta -- partially cooked
1/4 to 1/3 Cup of fresh basil -- chopped


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cook 1 pound of gluten free pasta for about 1 or 2 minutes less than directed on the package.  I used BiAglut Rigatoni, which I cooked for 6 minutes, which is two minutes less than I usually cook it.  Do not rinse it.  I always add 1T of kosher salt to my boiling water when cooking a pound of pasta.

In a 10x10 baking dish, layer the sauce, pasta, sliced mozzarella, a generous sprinkle of Romano/Parmesan, and chopped basil.  Repeat layers.  I ended up with 3 layers of pasta and 4 layers of sauce.

After finishing with sauce on top, cover your baking dish with aluminum foil, and bake for 30-35 minutes.

Mom's Quick Cook Tomato Sauce 


1 T sweet onion -- minced
1 T olive oil
1 clove (1/2 tsp) garlic -- minced
26 to 32 ounce can/carton San Marzano tomatoes (whole peeled, crushed, diced, or pureed)
1 T + 1 tsp sugar
kosher salt -- to taste
coarse ground black pepper -- to taste


Saute the onion in olive oil on medium heat in a large fry pan.  When the onion has softened, add the garlic.  Add the tomatoes after the garlic begins to brown.  If you are using whole peeled tomatoes, crush them with your hands as you add them to the pan.

Add the sugar, and a couple of pinches of salt and pepper.  Put a lid on your pan, and cook for 20 to 30 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally.

Recipe Notes

If you used whole peeled tomatoes, you could puree your sauce with a stick blender.

I did not need 2 full recipes of the sauce for my baked rigatoni.  The extra sauce will keep in the refrigerator for several days, or you can freeze it. 

If you cannot find gluten free rigatoni, you could substitute another gluten free noodle like penne in this recipe.  I do not recommend using a thin noodle like spaghetti.  


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