A long slow simmer makes this cheesy rich crowd pleaser a certain hit when company is coming.
red pepper flakes
(one large can)
italian plum (roma) tomatoes
dried or fresh chopped
shredded, about 1 cup
parmesan, parmigiano-reggiano cheese, grated
To make the sauce:
Heat oven to 350℉ (180℃).
In a pot, heat oil and sauté garlic, onions and hot-pepper flakes until golden.
Stir in tomato paste. Rinse can with the water and add to pot. Simmer 30 minutes.
Add all the remaining ingredients. Simmer at least 1½ to 2 hours.
If you have more time, let it simmer even a little longer.
To make the filling:
Combine ricotta, pepper, parsley and eggs in medium bowl. Mix thoroughly. Reserve cheeses.
To assemble the casserole:
Cook rigatoni according to package directions, but reduce cooking time by two minutes. Do not overcook.
Spread sauce over the bottom of a 9x13x2 inch baking dish.
Top with a layer of pasta.
Top pasta with a little more sauce, then several spoons full of ricotta mixture.
Spoon together with the back of a large spoon.
Top with a sprinkling of mozzarella cheese.
Top with a layer of pasta and repeat the process, ending with Parmesan cheese this time.
Then repeat, ending with mozzarella, etc. Finish with a layer of pasta.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or for about 15 minutes after it begins to bubble around edges.
Ricotta will rise to top; it should be slightly set.
Allow to stand 10 to 15 minutes before serving.