Rigatoni is my favorite pasta. Truth be told, I used to eat it three times a week after I graduated college. It was my go-to pasta, and I could never get enough of it. As I got older, I learned to incorporate my every day pasta into more elaborate meals. My baked spinach and mushroom rigatoni is an ah-mazing recipe and it’s made in a slow cooker! It’s easy-peasy and only takes 15 minutes to prepare!
- 1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- ½ pound rigatoni (whole wheat or gluten-free if you like)
- 1 red onion sliced
- 1 pound mixed mushrooms (such as cremini, button, and shiitake), trimmed and sliced
- 2 10-ounce packages frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess liquid
- 1 15-ounce container ricotta
- 8 ounces mozzarella, grated
- Grated Parmesan, for serving
Break up the tomatoes and their juices in a medium bowl with your hands or a potato masher. Add the oil, garlic, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. In a separate medium bowl, combine the uncooked rigatoni, onion, and mushrooms.
Spread a third of the tomato mixture in the bottom of a 4-to-6-quart slow cooker. Top with half the pasta mixture, half the spinach, a third of the tomato mixture, half the ricotta, and half the mozzarella; repeat. Cover and cook on high until the pasta is tender, 3 ½ to 4 hours.
Tip: Most baked rigatoni recipes call for precooking the noodles. You can skip that step here: The tomato sauce and vegetables render the pasta soft and tender- and saturated with juicy flavor. This recipe works well with penne, too.