Rigatoni pasta is a tube-shaped pasta with longitudinal rows (ridges) on the outer surface.
- The Italian pronunciation is riɡaˈtoːni.
- They are made with durum wheat semolina and water.
- The term Rigatoni refers to the lines, to the scratches, to the straight ridges on the surface: in fact, Rigatone is augmentative of rigato, which translates scratched, furrowed, ruled.
- Rigatoni is plural of Rigatone, and the augmentative is due to the fact that it is a type of pasta with an important size.
- The ridges on the surface allow this type of pasta to retain the sauces, and therefore allow to easily savor the pasta along with the sauce.
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Rigatoni and Mezzi Rigatoni
Mezzi rigatoni translates Half Rigatoni. Some producers use the term Mezzi Rigatoni to indicate a pasta similar to Rigatoni but with a diameter smaller than that of Rigatoni pasta. Other producers indicate with the term Mezzi Rigatoni, a pasta format with a rather large diameter but a much shorter length than that of Rigatoni.
RIGATONI PASTA AND DIFFERENT PRODUCTION METHODS
There are several systems of production of Rigatoni pasta and pasta in general.
Even for the rigatoni we can to some extent distinguish between so-called “artisan pasta” and “industrial pasta”.
An important phase in the production of pasta is the drying stage. Some producers use production methods that favor speed; other pasta factories use more time-consuming systems.
The high temperature drying methods allow very short drying times (a few hours). Some pasta factories, which aim at the quality of Rigatoni rather than the quantity produced, operate by drying the pasta at much lower temperatures (for example lower than 54 ° C). The drying process requires, in this case, much longer times (for example 30 hours). According to some, low temperatures make it possible to better preserve the organoleptic and nutritional characteristics of the raw material (durum wheat) used.
RIGATONI PASTA PAIRINGS: WHICH SAUCE GOES BEST WITH RIGATONI?
The shape and size of Rigatoni pasta make them suitable for different sauces.
Thanks to the consistency, shape and ridges, they are able to grab thick and hearty sauces.
Rigatoni pasta pairs well with meat sauce: Rigatoni with meat sauce is a quite classical dish. Thanks to the cavity, they can also keep inside vegetable ragout. They are delicious also with a simple tomato sauce.
The consistent thickness and the ease in retaining the sauce make them also suitable for the preparation of baked pasta.
Baked rigatoni pasta
Baked Rigatoni are an easy Rigatoni recipe and a dish that is always much appreciated.
Baked pasta with béchamel is one of the most famous first courses of Italian cuisine
It is an easy Rigatoni recipe, which does not take long. It is also a convenient recipe because the dish can be prepared in advance and baked in the evening, just before sitting down to table.
Baked Rigatoni pasta with béchamel can be made according to many variations, with different ingredients. You can add for example mushrooms and cooked ham to the basic ingredients.
Here we will see the basic recipe (which among other things is perhaps my favorite!).
Baked Rigatoni recipe – Ingredients for 6 persons
- 400 g Rigatoni
- 700 ml Béchamel sauce
- 100 g Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano cheese (it can be more or less, according to taste)
- Salt to taste
- Extra virgin olive oil
Baked rigatoni recipe – Method
- Pour the Béchamel in a large bowl and add a pinch of salt and 70 g of Parmesan cheese
- Cook the rigatoni in boiling salted water for just a little more than half of the indicated cooking time
- Drain the pasta
- Preheat the oven to 200 °C
- Toss the Rigatoni into the prepared béchamel, and stir well
- Grease the baking tray with butter or olive oil. This will prevent the pasta from sticking, so that it can be served easily
- Pour the preparation (béchamel and rigatoni) into the baking tray and sprinkle the remaining grated Parmigiano or Grana Padano over it
- Place the baking tray into the oven. Cook for about 30 minutes, until the surface appears golden, au gratin, while the Rigatoni are still soft.
- Let the pasta rest in the oven for 5 minutes before serving