Tomato Cream Rigatoni with grilled cheese croutons

(from castro15’s recipe box)

Categories: Pasta


  • 1 oz. Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 Ciabatta
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper
  • 4 oz. Cremini Mushrooms
  • 2 oz. Shredded Mozzarella
  • 5 oz. Rigatoni
  • 4 fl. oz. Light Cream
  • 1 Tbsp. Tomato Paste
  • 2 tsp. Vegetable Base


  1. Bring 8 cups water and 2 tsp. salt to a boil in a medium pot.

  2. Cut ciabatta into ½" cubes. Mince garlic. Stem, seed, remove ribs, and slice red bell pepper into ¼" strips. Cut mushrooms into ¼" slices.

  3. Place a medium non-stick pan over medium heat. Add 1½ tsp. olive oil and ciabatta cubes to hot pan. Stir occasionally until lightly brown, 3-4 minutes. Add mozzarella, half the Parmesan (reserve remaining for garnish), and half the garlic (reserve remaining for sauce). Stir constantly until cheese melts, 30-60 seconds. Remove croutons to a plate and spread into a single layer. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and cover. Reserve pan; no need to wipe clean.

  4. Once water is boiling, add pasta and cook until al dente, 11-13 minutes. Reserve ¼ cup pasta water. Drain pasta in a colander. Reserve pot; no need to wipe clean. While pasta boils, sauté vegetables.

  5. Return pan used to make croutons to medium-high heat. Add 1 tsp. olive oil and red bell pepper to hot pan. Cook undisturbed until lightly charred, 2-3 minutes. Add mushrooms and stir occasionally until tender, 3-4 minutes. Remove from burner. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.

  6. Return pot used to cook pasta to medium heat. Add ½ tsp. olive oil and remaining garlic to hot pot. Stir occasionally until fragrant, 30-60 seconds. Stir in cream, reserved pasta water, tomato paste, and vegetable base until thoroughly incorporated. Bring to a simmer. Stir occasionally until sauce slightly thickens, 3-5 minutes. Remove from burner. Add pasta and vegetables and stir to combine. Season with ¼ tsp. salt and a pinch of pepper. Plate dish as pictured on front of card, topping pasta with croutons and garnishing with remaining Parmesan. Bon appétit!

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