Baked Rigatoni With Sausage
2 tablespoons Extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3/4 pound Italian sausage
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 large can (28 ounces) peeled whole tomatoes
Leaves from 1 small bunch basil
1 pound rigatoni
1 pound fresh mozzarella
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat for the pasta.
Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and saute for 3 to 4 minutes until brown, but not fully cooked. Drain sausage and place in a 9x13 baking dish.
Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to the skillet, then add the onion and garlic, and cook until translucent ( 3 to 4 minutes). Add the tomatoes and their juices into a bowl and crush with your hands to break them up; pour tomatoes into the skillet with the basil and cook it down until slightly thickened (about 15 minutes).
Add the rigatoni to the boiling water, give it a stir, and cook for 6 to 7 minutes, it should be slightly firm as it will cook further in the oven. Ladle out 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water and reserve; then drain the rigatoni.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Add the tomato sauce, rigatoni, and the reserved pasta water to the baking dish. Break up half the mozzarella over the mixture, season with salt and pepper, and gently mix with a spoon. Dust with the Parmigiano and drizzle with more olive oil. Bake for 15 minutes. Spread the remaining mozzarella in an even layer over the top and continue to bake for another 10 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.