Rigatoni sausage bake

Rigatoni sausage bake

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(142 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 45 mins - 50 mins

More effort

Serves 6
A great way to get kids to eat spinach, this is a healthy, comforting sausage supper dish

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal749
  • fat33g
  • saturates16g
  • carbs84g
  • sugars0g
  • fibre5g
  • protein31g
  • salt2.32g
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  • 400g good quality pork sausage
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 1 onion, chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 1 large carrot, grated



    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • 150ml red wine
  • 300ml vegetable stock
  • 3 tbsp tomato purée

For the sauce

  • 50g butter



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 50g plain flour
  • 600ml milk



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a complete food. While cow…

  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • 500g rigatoni or penne
  • 200g fresh spinach



    Used in almost every cuisine across the world, spinach is an enormously popular green vegetable…

  • 140g mature cheddar, grated



    Once cheddar was 'Cheddar', a large, hard-pressed barrel of cheese made by a particular…


  1. Slit the sausages and remove them from their skins, then chop them into small pieces. Heat the oil in a pan, add the onion and fry for 5 minutes, until softened and lightly browned. Stir in the sausages and fry until lightly coloured. Add the carrot, then stir in the wine, stock, tomato purée, and season.

  2. Bring to the boil, then simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes until thickened. Taste and season. Set aside.

  3. Put the butter, flour and milk in a pan. Gently heat, whisking, until thickened and smooth. Add a sprinkle of freshly grated nutmeg, season, then simmer for 2 minutes.

  4. Preheat the oven to 190C/Gas 5/fan 170C. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the pasta, stir well, then cook, uncovered, for 10-12 minutes, until tender. Remove from the heat, stir in the spinach and, when just wilted, drain well.

  5. Tip half the pasta into a shallow ovenproof dish, about 2.2 litre/4 pint, and level. Spoon over the sausage sauce, then cover with the remaining pasta. Pour the white sauce evenly over the top and sprinkle with the cheddar. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Leave for 5 minutes before serving.

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Comments (148)

KaylasCakes's picture

Great recipe but could do with a bit of a rewrite

Noting all the tips in the comments below
- add around 75-100g of cheese to the sauce
- use 300-400g of pasta. 500g is way too much for this dish. The cheese sauce and the meat really make it quite filling.
- don't freeze the entire dish. It just doesn't work. Make extra sausage mixture and freeze that. It only takes about 20 mins to whip up the pasta and white sauce. Cuts down on the pots too if you make the pasta first and use that pot to make the white sauce after.
- not sure if this is just me, but adding everything at once for the white sauce doesn't sound right to me. I melt the butter and flour together and then add warmed milk bit by bit to get my sauce. I imagine it would be lumpy otherwise!

Hope that helps

lurvlyloz's picture

Really enjoyed this & will definitely make again. Made exactly to the recipe

BeccyF's picture

This recipe works well with any left over Sunday roasties - I've used this recipe for ham, chicken, turkey and pork and added in on various occasions garlic, smoked paprika and oregano to the "sausage" sauce. Forget making the cheese sauce, I just pour over a fresh four cheese pasta sauce ( the stuff in a jar doesn't work so well) and and grate over either cheddar or Parmesan. Portions are enormous - reduce by a third and its a generous portion for four adults with salad. Yummy!

Marzi's Plate's picture

The meal was very tasty, even though it didn't require addition of many spices. Unfortunately it was time consuming and the amount of dishes used for preparation was insane. There are other as tasty meals as this one on this website that do not require spending much time in the kitchen.

samosa28's picture

Forgot to say, I added a good dollop of tabasco to the sausage sauce.

samosa28's picture

We all loved this recipe. 2 adults and 2 teenagers devoured it all on a Saturday night. Highly recommended and will be making again :)

bambisix's picture

I wasn't blown away. It was flavourless considering the contents. I think adding cheese to the white sauce or increasing the quantity of the sauce with the sausage in it may help. Don't think I'll re-attempt as I managed to use 101 pots making something which tasted very simple. Highly mediocre.

fairystoryteller's picture

We love this recipe, but as always with a white sauce, I lift the flavours a bit with a dash of vinegar and a healthy dollop of dijon mustard. Another tweak is to add about a teaspoon of hot smoked paprika to the sausage sauce. If you try it again with those additions I would be surprised if you still found it bland. It's a favourite recipe in our house and always goes down well.

Joesyjo's picture

Made this twice now and found it to be very bland. Made it the second time as thought with all the great reviews that maybe I had done something wrong, but the second time was the same as the first. I followed the recipe exactly and used 500g of pasta which may be why. Not sure if it worth trying a third time as it is very time consuming and uses lots of pots and pans.

x-x-x-faerie-x-x-x's picture

This will become a regular! So delicious! I added peas and sweetcorn too to sneak in some extra veg and the whole lot was polished off. EVERYONE had seconds, including my two year old. Big thumbs up.

nininog's picture

Omg this was amazing. I thought it was just gonna be another pasta dish but it tastes so different. I omitted the red wine and used more stock (although it wasn't needed) used mozzarella instead of cheddar and frozen spinach instead of fresh It was delicious, I'd definitely make it again

chadders76's picture

really nice- just cooked this for my family- used mozarella and parmesan. Felt the white sauce could have done with, dare i say it???.... a little bit of garlic!!!! They all enjoyed it though and will cook it again

fairystoryteller's picture

Re previous comment from me - the sausage sauce can indeed be made ahead and frozen so I make double quantities and freeze half for next time.

fairystoryteller's picture

I love this recipe (see my previous post) but I just thought I would post again and say that it does NOT freeze successfully. It just turns into an amorphous gloop and all the different flavours and textures are lost. I think it would be worth making the sausage and tomato sauce ahead in bulk and freezing it if you wanted to cut prep time and I will try that because I like to have easy dishes in the freezer for busy weeks.

forbairt's picture

This was insanely tasty. I made it last monday and thinking about it my mouth starts watering. It's definitely going in my favourites list.

aahearne's picture

Great recipe. Just used the back of a knife to squeeze out chunks of sausage meat & got the food processor out to deal with rest of prep. Deliciou. Will def make again as recipe written but also very easy to add to or adapt. Good stuff!

fairystoryteller's picture

Gorgeous! I added flavour to the white sauce with a dash of vinegar and a teaspoon of Dijon mustard. I didn't bother to cook the spinach with the pasta - I just stirred it into the drained rigatoni which was enough to wilt it. This will become a regular dish in our house - it's absolutely delicious!

kategoudy's picture

I've given this four stars as it's a really tasty dish that goes a long way and is packed with goodness. However, it took an hour and a half to prep and cook, plus the white sauce is a little bland. This should really just be a cheese sauce so I would recommend adding the mature cheddar and some parmesan before baking. Great tip about the pasta needed - I used 300g and it was spot on. Great recipe which I will definitely make again.

Nattynoodles's picture

Lovely dish, I like to make this with chorizo instead of sausage, gives it a great kick. Also I don't bother with the spinach and carrots and instead just serve it with a side veg. Always a hit with my family, even my fussy eating younger brother!


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Tips (1)

hannahsxx's picture

I used apple and pork sausages, this added a hint of sweetness and was delicious. I also added more sausage than the recipe required, I didn't feel it was quite enough per person!