Baked Rigatoni with Zucchini is a delightful Italian pasta that is delicious to eat and fun to make too!
If you happen to have lots of zucchini on your hands this summer, invite family and friends over to help you make this recipe and enjoy this fabulous summer pasta made for sharing.
This recipe starts out with a quick saute of onion and then the zucchini, but what makes it fun is the addition of the tomatoes. You’ll empty a 28oz can of whole San Marzano tomatoes into a large bowl, then stick your hand in (or invite the kids’s to use their hands) and start squishing them! Yes it sounds weird and maybe creepy…but it’s really fun! Crush up the whole can of tomatoes with your bare hand. Somehow this makes me feel like a kid again. Playing in the mud and getting messy…with no care in the world…except catching the ice cream truck…oh summertime fun…
You’ll need a fair amount of fresh large leaf basil for this recipe, about a cup. If you read my last post you’ll know how much I love fresh herbs, and I won’t get on my soap box this time. Most grocery stores will carry a carton of fresh basil~ use this if you don’t grow your own or have a handy dandy farmers market nearby. Oh how I love fresh basil! I love the way my fingers smell after picking off a few leaves. Mmmmm!
I found the use of Fontina and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheeses were a nice change from the usual Parmesan or Mozzarella cheese most think of when cooking Italian fare. They can be a bit difficult to find~ check the specialty cheese isle. If you can’t find one or the other, substitute another Italian hard cheese. Just make sure you use two different kinds, it really helps to add depth of flavors to this dish.
I hope you enjoy it along with the special people in your life. That’s true Italian cooking!