James Briscione's Broccoli & Italian Sausage Baked Pasta, as seen on Food Network Kitchen.
Recipe courtesy of James Briscione

Broccoli and Italian Sausage Baked Rigatoni

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr
  • Active: 35 min
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Italian sausage and meze rigatoni come together in this easy three-cheese pasta bake. Plus, the creamy sauce and tender broccoli florets will make both parents and kids more than happy to enjoy this meal.



  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat.
  2. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking up the sausage with a wooden spoon into small pieces, until browned and cooked through, about 6 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the sausage to a medium bowl, then reduce the heat to medium.
  3. Add 3 more tablespoons of the butter and the garlic to the same pot. Cook until the butter has melted and the garlic is softened slightly, about 1 minute. Whisk in the flour and cook until it's bubbling all over and no longer raw, about 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk, then bring to a steady simmer. Simmer until it has thickened slightly, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the mozzarella and fontina until smooth. Season with 1 1/4 teaspoon salt and a few good grinds of pepper. Keep warm over low heat.
  4. Meanwhile, season the pot of boiling water generously with salt (it should taste like the ocean). Add the pasta and cook until al dente, adding the broccoli florets during the last 4 minutes of cooking, about 8 minutes total.
  5. Use a spider to transfer the pasta and broccoli into the cheese sauce and stir until evenly coated. Stir in the sausage. Transfer to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
  6. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan. Stir in the breadcrumbs and parsley then sprinkle evenly over the pasta. Top with the Parmesan. Bake until the sauce is bubbling around the sides and the breadcrumb topping is golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Let sit 10 minutes before serving.