Baked Rigatoni with Bechamel Sauce

Total Time:
55 min
Prep:
25 min
Cook:
30 min

Yield:
6 servings
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • 1 stick unsalted butter (4 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 quart whole milk, at room temperature
  • Pinch fresh nutmeg
  • Sea salt and white pepper
  • 1 cup grated fontina
  • 1/2 pound thinly sliced prosciutto, julienned
  • 1 pound dry rigatoni
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

In a 2 quart saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until smooth, about 2 minutes. Always stirring, gradually add the milk and continue to whisk until the sauce is smooth and creamy. Simmer until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. This will take approximately 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in nutmeg, 1/2 cup fontina, prosciutto and season with salt and white pepper. Set aside.

In a large pot, bring to a boil 6 quarts of salted water. Add the rigatoni and cook for about 5 minutes. Since you will be cooking the pasta a second time in the oven, you want to make sure the inside is still hard. Drain in a colander. Return pasta to the pot and pour in bechamel sauce. Using a wooden spoon, mix well until all the pasta is coated with the sauce.

Into a greased 13 by 9-inch baking dish, pour the pasta with cream sauce. Smooth out top and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup fontina. Dot the top with diced butter and bake in oven for 25 minutes or until bubbling and the top is golden brown.


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4.6 285
This was divine! It's not a low-cal diet food, but that's okay! It was well worth the calories and a total comfort food kinda meal! Will make this again when I can fit in a splurge day :) item not reviewed by moderator and published
We loved this recipe! I didn't change a thing but added a little extra cheese :) item not reviewed by moderator and published
Made this recipe from her cookbook which said you could make ahead to a certain point. You can't! This was amazing fresh but did not re-heat well. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Great recipe. I added garlic as per previous comments and also chopped up some fresh spinach and added it to hot pasta before adding bechamel. Spinach wilted by pasta so no need to cook it. Wanted to add something healthy to this cheesy pasta! Turned out great! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Tasty and easy. I made a healthier version by using almond milk instead of whole milk, and ground turkey instead of prosciutto. I also left out the nutmeg since almond milk adds just enough nuttiness. I normally don't like Giatta's recipes since she complicates the basics, but this one is a keeper. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Incredible and easy. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I cooked pasta for 5 minutes which was perfect. Next time I will add some garlic. Otherwise awesome!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
It was delicious. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Awesome and easy!! YUM!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
We all love this dish. Easy and tasty! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Essentially a glorified baked mac and cheese. Perhaps using different cheeses may produce a more interesting dish. item not reviewed by moderator and published
fairly easy to make, always turns out great, my husband and I love this!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This dish is great. Very easy to use. I made it for a dinner party for the first time and everyone loved it. I used regular bacon and was still delicious. Yummy! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Outstanding. Added one clove pressed garlic and seasoned panko breadcrumbs to the top to please my family that likes a lot of flavor. Boiled the pasta a little longer 7.3 minutes and glad I did, it would have been undercooked if not. Fast, did this in 25 mintues. I also heated the milk which makes it a lot less likely to lump and cooks the bechamel faster. item not reviewed by moderator and published
this is another awesome recipe even i made a healthier version and what i have in hand instead. i used olive oil instead of butter,2 cans of 2% milk instead of whole milk,wheat flour & wheat penne, instead of regular AP flour and rigatoni pasta, parmesan cheese and added left over ham since i dont have fontina and prosciutto ! still a huge hit and for sure going to the FAVORITES list! thanks giada! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe blew me away! I substituted crumbled italian sausage for the proscuitto, but other than that I followed the recipe. It was a HUGE hit with my family and was just unbelievable scrumptious. I will make again, and again and again . . . item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is the fifth time I have made this dish. The first four times my teenagers weren't crazy about it (I had added different veggies and omitted the proscuitto. This time, both the kids had friends over and I needed something easy to make. I didn't have fontina or whole milk, so I substituted 2% milk and a combination of cheddar and parmasean cheeses. It was a hit with the four of us plus their friends. Using the 2% milk didn't change the creaminess of the sauce, it was just a lot lighter dish, which we enjoyed more. Any way you make this, it's delicious!! Thanks Giada, for a really easy and delicious recipe!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have been making this dish for about 4 years now and it is sooo good everytime. It is so perfect for special occasions. The only thing is, I always seem to forget the nutmeg and I do add just a tad extra cheese to the sauce, makes it creamier and cheesier. The way it browns on top at the end is just perfect. Love Giada. item not reviewed by moderator and published
this was so very good and my husband loved it, now i am going to make this for the rest of my family, let's see what they'll think. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Very easy and so delicious!!! I made a few changes just for my own taste. I added the whole cup of Fontina cheese to the bechamel sauce and instead of prosciutto I used bacon (so yummy! and topped it with 1/3 cup of Fontina cheese and the cubed butter. It came out perfect! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe was great! My family loved it as well. I thought bechamel sauce was something I would keep ordering from restaurants, Now I can make it myself. Thanks Giada!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Sorry Giada. I followed this recipe exactly and it was ok. Not a lot of flavor. I think it would have been better with a sharper cheese. Wasn't horrible. Just not my thing I guess. This is the third recipe I have tried from her and they are all kind of ehhhh. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this last night for Dinner. It was hit in my house. I didn't use prosciutto but i did use the fontina cheese.. It was a simple but good meal.. I also used about a cup of cheese plus more for the top and i served it with homemade italian sausage meatballs on the side. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this for dinner last night and it was soooooooooo good. Cheesy and creamy yummmmmmmmmmmm. I could not find the fontina cheese and they looked to be out of the prosciutto so I substituted pecarino Romano cheese and Canadian bacon. A little certainly goes a long way in filling you up so don't worry about the calories. I can't wait to see what it is like to reheat for lunch. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Been making this one for a couple years now and it is STILL one of our family's most favorite meals! And we have 2 very picky kids : We use shredded mozzarella and deli ham (even luncheon meat on busy days instead of the fontina and prosciutto : item not reviewed by moderator and published
Very Tasty. The only thing I would do differently is fry up the proscuitto in a pan first, add all the cheese to the sauce, and not bake the dish. I like the cheese to stay smooth and creamy. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was really easy, delicious, and a good potluck dish. If you don't have proscuitto on hand, thinly sliced julienned ham works well too. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Easy to make and enjoy on a winters night!Total comfort cooking-served it with an arugula salad-good eats! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Delicious! My favorite Gia recipe! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Amazing. Added baby bella mushrooms for an even heartier meal. Great comfort food, and very easy to make. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Amazing! Made rigatoni exactly as described, just folded in some homemade mini meatballs before baking- perfection!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Delicious. Does this dish have to be baked immediately after its prepared? Would like to prepare it ahead of time for a dinner party, but worried it may dry up? item not reviewed by moderator and published
Absolutely delicious, even if you're a novice cook it's easy to prepare. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Excellent dish, my family loves it and I have made it numerous times. I add panko bread crumbs to the topping with some grated fresh paremesean to make a crunchy, crusty topping. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was an excellent recipe. It is great for a cold and rainy evening. I will absolutely make it again and I wouldn't change a thing. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was really good and easy to make. But it's a bit bland. Next time I will add more sea salt and use fresh nutmeg. But very good otherwise! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Delicious combo of flavors and textures. My whole family loved it. Thanks Giada for the tasty recipe! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Nutmeg is a standard ingredient in a classic bechamel sauce. Check out Mario Batalli's recipe, he also learned to cook in Italy. Peas are usually part of the recipe when it's not being baked, but you could still add them. Every Italian family in my neighborhood made this when I was a kid. As for the last comment, don't critique a recipe you haven't tried, while substituting or leaving out the main ingredients! You give her two stars for a great recipe, while creating a disgusting substitute. It's like saying I made spaghetti and meatballs, but I used toast instead of spaghetti, and hot dogs instead of meatballs. Please. item not reviewed by moderator and published
My family is from Italy and nutmeg is out of the question in sauces. I tried this and left out the prosciutto and the fontina cheese. I used grated Romano cheese instead. I sliced up some bacon, fried it, drained it, then mixed it into the pasta and sauce just before serving. Topped it off with some freshly chopped basil. Now you're talking! item not reviewed by moderator and published
i just made this tonight. the prosciutto was a little pricey. my local grocery carried it in 3 oz packages (at almost $6 each!) so instead of the 8 ounces Giada's recipe calls for, i just used one 3 oz package. Then, to make it more of a meal than a sidedish, i chopped up about half a pound of chicken (i cooked it in a skillet with minced garlic, rosemary, cilantro, and EVOO). By doing this, i knew i needed more sauce inorder to thoroughly coat everything, so i put the full cup of fontina in with the sauce (instead of 1/2 a cup on top). Then on top i spirnkled plain Panko bread crumbs, and Italian seasoned bread crumbs, and parmesan cheese on top. it turned out beautifully!!! my husband raved...and as a newlywed, and a new cook, that meant alot!!!!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this recipe at a family reunion in North Carolina and everybody loved it! You have to get good prociuto for it not to taste rubbery. Thanks Giada!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Being from southeast Texas, comfort food ususally means gumbo, fried chicken, or a fat, juicy steak. But I have to say that this dish ranks right up there with our old time family favorites! My family was reluctant to try it when I first made it and now if I ask anyone what they would like for supper, they insist on this velvety and tasty pasta . Thanks Giada for sharing this wonderful recipe! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this a few weeks ago and it was a big hit! Loved everything about it! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Super easy recipe, and delicious! My husband doesn't write home about most pasta dishes. Happy to report he liked this recipe enough to point it out and have seconds. Excellent creamy consistency. If the Bechamel sauce is too thick, simply add left over pasta water (from the Rigatoni) or more milk. The cheese crust was the best part. I followed the recipe and used prosciutto. I did have to use a little bit of kosher salt to enhance the flavors. I used fresh nutmeg. I've used ground nutmeg before. It does make a difference, in flavor, when zesting fresh nutmeg. The scent was delicious. I think next time, I might add peas and/or red bell peppers. The pasta is perfect paired with a side italian/greek salad and/or soup. item not reviewed by moderator and published
From the first time I made this it has become one of our favorites. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this dish for my family with home made shrimp scampi. It was truly a hit!!! My niece travels from Virginia to New York to enjoy this meal along with myself and my family. This meal is a weekly suggestion in my home. Doesn't get better than that! Thanks Giada! item not reviewed by moderator and published
The part of this recipe that sold me was its unassuming versatility. I've added a variety of meats, spices, and vegetables to this dish, all with amazing results. Just make sure you don't add too many things, otherwise the bechamel sauce doesn't coat everything. :) One of my favorite "cheap" additions are those frozen, breaded chicken strips. Bake them off about halfway, slice into bite-sized pieces, and mix into the pasta before you bake it. Wonderful! Substituting bacon for the prosciutto is great if you are mindful to drain off the excess oil. And a small bag of frozen shelled peas is a very, very tasty addition as well! If you're having a problem with the recipe tasting too milky or floury, as some other reviewers have indicated, I suggest cooking the roux a little longer. You don't need to take it past the dark blonde stage, but the roux should definitely NOT smell like flour. For the record, I use 2% milk most of the time in this dish. If you loved baked pasta, I really think you'll like this. Try it! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This has become something of a "go-to" recipe for me. The first time I made it was my first time to make a bechamel sauce, and the first time I ever used nutmeg and liked it. I love everything about it. My entire family likes it. I even invited a friend over - a friend who is an admittedly VERY picky eater, and he enjoyed it very much. It can be a complete meal followed step-by-step, but a salad alongside makes it a great meal! I'm so glad I saw this show a few years ago when I first started watching Food Network. This is a real find for me. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this for dinner guests and it was a hit. Very easy to make so I did not spend all my time in the kitchen and very tasty too! I have made this a few times now and it always delivers. item not reviewed by moderator and published
along with some halibut stuffed with dungeness crab, herbs and cheese. The pasta was one of the worst Giada recipes I've made. It tasted like flour, milk, and nutmeg. Big disappointment. One reason may be that I didn't use prosciutto. Whatever the reason, I definitely won't make again. I can use that expensive fontina cheese for something else. item not reviewed by moderator and published
For those of you that like a bit more flavor, I have made this recipe more times than I can acount (with rave reviews), I have started to substitute some smoked fontina mixed in with the regular. This takes if over the top! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this recipe for the first time to day. I usually love Giada's recipes and generally do well substituting ham products in her recipes for beef or lamb. This time it DID NOT work. I browned ground beef with some onion and garlic and then added it to the pasta/bechamel mixture. Unfortunately, when it came out of the oven It tasted like I dumped rigatoni into milk and served it. All this despite adding some fresh basil and oregano as well as onions and garlic to the mix. If I make this again I will add a lot more salt and pepper as well as more herbs and lots of garlic. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is a good recipe, but I think it was really starchy and not as flavorful as I thought it would be. I did cook it as instructed. Usually Giada's recipes are an A+, but this one fell short. I think it needed some greens for an extra punch. It seemed too bland even with the yummy proscuitto in it. item not reviewed by moderator and published
My family loved this baked rigatoni and bechamel sauce it had a smooth and creamy texture and the taste was great. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I just made this for the first time and it is delicious! It did take me longer to make than what she said (about 1 hr. 50 min. from start to finish). The only changes that I made was to add a little onion powder to the sauce and I added extra fontina cheese on the top. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe is to die for!! It's rich, creamy and delicious. My huge italian family fights over this dish every easter!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was a fantastic recipe. The family and our 8 year old guest loved it. I added some swiss chard to it and I'm both sad and happy to note that no one noticed. Children need the veggies!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe is a huge hit with my family. We sub out bacon rather than prosciutto and it has never failed to impress everyone. Although it's a little pricey to make it's well worth it! item not reviewed by moderator and published
We usually have 40-50 people young and old and it's the kids against the adults to take the leftovers home. Of course the kids won. :-) I made this last year to accompany a prime rib dinner for Christmas and it was the only request from everyone for a repeat appearance. My Granddaughters ask for it on special occasions during the year. It is a #1 hit with everyone. Thanks Giada! I would love to cook with you sometime. Vicki Pease Tracy, CA item not reviewed by moderator and published
I followed the directions exactly. This was absolutely disgusting. It was way too rich and the prosciutto makes it incredibly salty. Not only did it taste awful, it was VERY expensive to make. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe is SO good! My roommates and I have to fight for the leftovers! The only change I make is that I use a 4-cheese Italian blend and I use 1 cup in the sauce and then enough to sprinkle on top. Also, I don't dot the top with butter - I don't think it needs it. I've made this tons of times and it's good every time! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This dish was so good, we made it again a few days later! item not reviewed by moderator and published
The best comfort food ever. Easily made, it tastes sooo good. I even have added chicken or cut up ham to make it go farther within my family or guests. Always a favorite here! item not reviewed by moderator and published
this dish was a hit- it was super easy to make;but tasted as if i'd spent quite awhile on it. I will use this recipe over and over again. Way to go Giada! item not reviewed by moderator and published
this has to be the best gida good food and good looks item not reviewed by moderator and published
This dish is soooo good! I tasted the sauce while I was cooking it but it didnt have much flavor, so I was afraid it would be bland. However, the prociutto really helps this dish coming together. I added a little bit of onion, but it is probably not necessary. Definitely recommended! item not reviewed by moderator and published
If you are experienced with a bechamel sauce this recipe should be classified as easy. Very tasty. Use a nice fontina cheese and you'll be rewarded. item not reviewed by moderator and published
When I first attempted this recipe I was a little intimidated, because It was for intermediate cooks and I was a beginner. I shouldn't have worried! It turned out amazing the first time, and I swear, my Husband fell in love with me all over again! Not only was it melty and cheesy, but it wasn't overwhelming in flavor, and the saltiness of the prosciutto really added a wonderful depth to this simple dish! This recipe is, bar none, the show stealer whenever I give a dinner party or have guests. I highly recommend everyone try this recipe at home, even picky children are bound to love it! And the best part? From start to finish this recipe only takes about 45 minutes! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I tried this at a friend's Christmas party and flipped over it. I just made it for a party at my house and it was awesome. It is really tasty and I will make it again and again! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Ignore every single one of those average reviews. This is my first time making this dish and i was greatly looking foward to trying it. I must say, it is absolutely delicious. The sauce was so creamy, and the fontina cheese(which i have never had until this dish) was wonderful. Great flavor of the cream and cheese and it tasted great with the prosciutto. I sliced the meat into bite sized peices so it wasn't too big. Please don't look this recipe over, make it and its worth it all! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Lovely dish that can be made in a pinch for a family dinner or even for entertaining. Be sure not to add much salt to the sauce as the saltiness of the meat really intensifies during baking. A must have in any recipe box! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this for dinner for my husband and he thought it was wonderful. It was so creamy, cheesy and the top was lightly crisped and buttery. I will definitely make this again! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Quick easy, tasty. You can make so many different variations.. Good group meal.. Very comfortng item not reviewed by moderator and published
Very easy to make, yet very delicious. I used Ultra Skim Milk, and about four slices of prosciutto, which is all I had left in the fridge (would have liked more). Used freshly grated nutmeg (never tried that before, but I saw whole nutmegs used in so many FN shows that I splurged on a jar and was glad I did.) I'm sure Ultra Skim v. whole milk changes the taste a bit and/or the consistency, but we are more comfortable with it. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This dish was amazing! I added a small can of peas before baking....absolutely wonderful. item not reviewed by moderator and published
this was excellent exactly as is, no tweaking necessary... just make sure you add enough salt to the bechamel and you'll be very happy. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I was dissapointed in this recipe. I LOVE Giada and have made two othe bechamel recipies of hers that came out great. This one tasted like flour to me... I will try again and add more cheese. It was not as creamy as I would have liked. I made half with sun dried tomatoes in it for my veggie daughter and she liked the flavor. I have not given up on this recipe and will make again sometime... item not reviewed by moderator and published
We found this to be too rich with cheese an sauce, and not so much taste. I've tasted much better pasta dishes from Giada. Although this wasn't the greatest recipe - you're still my favourite Giada!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I've been making this pasta since I first saw it air about three or four years ago, and it's become a staple at holidays, birthdays, potlucks, etc. Whenever I host a party, my family asks if there will be "pasta bake"! I often have to make two batches just to satisfy the masses. The ingredients can be a little pricey for families on a budget, but definitely worth it for special occasions, as it feeds an army. Also, if you're feeling cheap you can just substitute macaroni and a pound of shredded cheddar and omit the prosciutto, and you have the best mac and cheese ever! Very flexible, creamy, and delicious! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I make it when ever I am cooking for someone new. It is always a pleaser! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I make this regularly in the fall & winter. Unbeatable! item not reviewed by moderator and published
It is a very rich dish but really good.. item not reviewed by moderator and published
VERY good recipe. The baked cheese was fabulous -- like grown up mac-n-cheese. I accidentally used only half the butter...but it was still really good, so I may continue to make it that way (a little "lighter"). item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this as a main dish last night and was kind of disappointed. It was much more bland than I expected. I think I will use a more pungent cheese and pancetta next time. The prosciutto was nice. But again, a little bland. The dish was very good, it just tasted like something was missing. I definitely won't make it as a main dish again. I think I'll try it alongside the ham this Easter (with a few adjustments). item not reviewed by moderator and published
I saw Giada make this on TV and knew I had to try it. I made this for my family which isn't keen on trying new things. They LOVED it. It's now a favorite for special occasions. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Giada makes the best stuff. this was great comfort meal everyone loved it including the people who ate it the next day as leftovers! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This has become my go to meal for company. It is my most requested meal from my repeat overnight guests. I have even given it to my local Italian restaurant to make. Easy and with a loaf of crusty bread and a salad a meal everybody enjoys. A real hit thanks Giada, one of many meals you have added to my everyday menu planning. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Love it! Very easy to make. And we devour the leftovers the next day. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Not only is she as cute as a button, but she can cook! My Italian momma always told me never to trust a skinny chef (ESPECIALLY a skinny Italian chef) but man, was she wrong. This pasta is phenominal. I have been making it since I first saw it air and my family LOVES it. They go nuts when I tell them I'm making it. It's fantastic, really. Way to go, Giada... item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is a creamy tasty recipe. Great for a cold winter night. item not reviewed by moderator and published
wouldn't change a thing. LOVE this dish. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Very taste and rich. Easy to make. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Tastey, creamy, and oh so yummy. Love the white sauce...the proscuitto compliments the sauce well. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was great for kids! it was easy too. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this dish for my family along with the veal milanese, and it was fabulous. I put in diced prosciutto instead of the sliced. This could be a meal in itself with a nice salad and some crusty Italian bread. item not reviewed by moderator and published
yum creamy add some red pepper and parmesan item not reviewed by moderator and published
Rich, delicious and easy. I've never had a bad recipe from Giada! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I literally got sick after eating this. I would never make this again as it is far too rich. I used the finest ingredients and did not like the flavor of this dish. It is overkill. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I absolutely love this Italian twist to mac and cheese. My grandson loved it too. Through this recipe I discovered Fontina Cheese. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this last night, and my family ate the whole thing. I made a few changes, though, to save some calories. I used 2% milk instead of whole - the sauce came out thick and creamy. I had leftover asiago cheese, so I used it instead of the fontina and it was delicious! I also substituted the prociutto for turkey sausage. Excellent! item not reviewed by moderator and published

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