Rigatoni With Spicy Tomato Sauce, Kalamatas and Two Cheeses

This recipe serves six and you can make it ahead of time.

Prep time: 30 minutes
Start-to-finish: 1 hour, 50 minutes


  • 6 Tbsp. olive oil, plus more for the baking dish
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onions
  • 1 Tsp. finely chopped garlic
  • Three 28 oz. cans of diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 Tsp. dried basil leaves
  • Scant 1 1/2 Tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups chicken broth (see cooking tip below)
  • 1 Lb. rigatoni, large macaroni or penne pasta
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded Havarti cheese
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, preferably Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 1/3 cup pitted and halved Kalamata olives
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil or flat-leaf parsley for garnish


1. Heat 3 Tbsp. oil in a large, heavy frying pan set over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the onions and garlic and sauté, stirring, for about three minutes. Add the tomatoes, basil, scant 1 1/2 Tsp. red pepper flakes, 1 Tsp. salt, and 1/4 Tsp. freshly ground pepper and stir well. Add the broth and bring it to a low boil.

2. Cook until the liquid has reduced and mixture is chunky, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the heat; taste and add more salt and red pepper flakes, if desired. (Sauce can be made one day ahead; cool, cover, and refrigerate. Reheat before using.)

3. Cook the rigatoni according to package directions. Drain well in a colander. Lightly oil a 9-by-13-inch or shallow 3-quart baking dish and place the pasta in it. Toss the pasta with the remaining 3 Tbsp. oil, then taste and season with more salt if needed.

4. Add the warm tomato sauce to the pasta and toss well to combine. Add the Havarti cheese and toss again. Sprinkle the Parmesan over the top. Arrange the olives (shiny side up for a more attractive appearance if you like), over the pasta. (Pasta can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cool, cover and refrigerate.)

5. Arrange a rack at center position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake the pasta, uncovered, until hot and bubbly, about 25 minutes. Remove and sprinkle with either basil or parsley.

Cooking tip: If you want to make this dish strictly vegetarian, substitute a good vegetable stock for the chicken stock in the recipe.

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