There’s something about a bowl of warm pasta that just spells comfort. And this creamy rigatoni is no exception. (In fact, we’re willing to bet this dish delivers more cozy goodness than the average pasta dinner.) Here, rigatoni is coated in a fragrant, garlicky marinara sauce brimming with hearty kale, then mixed with roasted Cremini mushrooms, rich cream, and grated Parmesan (because cheese).
Wiping mushrooms clean instead of rinsing prevents them from absorbing water. They won’t brown well if they’re too wet.
While it cooks, pasta will release starches into the boiling water. Adding some reserved pasta water to the sauce will help it bind with the noodles.
2 cloves garlic
⅛ ounce basil
6 ounces dinosaur kale
6 ounces Cremini mushrooms
8 ounces rigatoni
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
14 ounces tomato purée
¼ cup heavy cream
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil
8″ medium pot
12″ large high-sided pan
Preheat oven to 425°F. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil over high heat. Thinly slice garlic. Rinse basil and roughly tear leaves, discarding stems. Rinse kale and tear leaves into bite-size pieces, discarding stems. Wipe mushrooms clean with a damp paper towel and thinly slice (see Recipe Tip).
On a baking sheet, toss mushrooms with 1 tablespoon olive oil, ¼ teaspoon salt and black pepper as desired. Roast until crispy, 10-12 minutes. Set aside.
While mushrooms roast, season boiling water generously with salt. Stir in rigatoni and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes. Reserve ½ cup pasta cooking water for thickening the sauce, then drain and set aside.
While rigatoni cooks, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large high-sided pan over medium heat. When oil is shimmering, add garlic and crushed red pepper. Sauté, stirring, until garlic is golden and fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in tomato purée and season with ¼ teaspoon salt and black pepper as desired. Cook, stirring occasionally, until warmed through, 6-8 minutes.
Add kale to pan with marinara sauce over medium heat and stir to wilt, 2-3 minutes. Season with ¼ teaspoon salt and black pepper as desired.
Add cream, mushrooms, rigatoni, and half of Parmesan to pan with sauce over medium heat and cook, stirring, until warmed through, 1-2 minutes. Add reserved pasta cooking water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until sauce is thick and clings to noodles (see Recipe Tip). Remove pan from heat, divide pasta between plates, and garnish with basil and remaining Parmesan. Dig in!
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