Baked Rigatoni Recipe

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BAKED RIGATONI with Béchamel Sauce
Traditionally, this rich dish is served as a main course, and as a kid that’s the way I ate it. But it also works in our health-conscious world as a starter or a side with something fresher and lighter—say, grilled fish drizzled with lemon juice or grilled meat. A creamy, cheesy dish like this is just the thing to make you feel coddled, as if your dining room is the coziest spot on earth.
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Servings
Ingredients
Servings
Ingredients
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Instructions
  1. Preheat the Oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly coat a 13x9-inch glass baking dish with the oil. In a medium saucepan, stir the béchamel sauce over medium heat until hot (do not allow the sauce to boil). Stir in the prosciutto, ½ cup of the fontina cheese, ½ teaspoon of salt, and a pinch of white pepper. Set the cheese sauce aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the rigatoni and cook, stirring occasionally, until almost tender but still very firm, about 5 minutes (do not cook the pasta to doneness at this point, since it will continue cooking as it bakes in the oven). Drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Stir in the cheese sauce and season the pasta mixture with more salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Spoon the pasta mixture into the prepared dish, then sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup of fontina cheese and dot the top with the butter. (The pasta can be prepared up to this point 8 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Uncover before baking.) Bake the pasta until the top is golden brown and the sauce bubbles, about 25 minutes. Serve immediately.

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