Image by Stefan Schauberger


Rigatoni - a delightful repast of hearty Italian cuisine. If there is one dish that stirs the tummy, it's this mouth-watering tube pasta.


There's something so satisfying about the shape and texture of rigatoni - its ridges give it just enough nubbins so it doesn't slide down too quickly, and its solid yet fluffy texture perfectly envelops a good sauce. There's also something incredibly comforting about the rolling warmth of the tubes as you bite into them.

Most classic Italian recipes call for the use of robust sauces like bolognese, carbonara, or arrabbiata. The pasta's size and structure make it an excellent vehicle for carrying flavor - the al dente tubes hold onto their shape without becoming soggy, allowing for each morsel of this delicacy to be enjoyed.

The end result of a well-made plate of rigatoni is a comforting, filling meal that makes you want to savor every last bite. Plus, it can be easily prepared in one pot, leaving cleanup a breeze.

If you're looking for a way to tantalize your taste buds, try making a delicious plate of rigatoni for a guaranteed scrumptious meal. Just be sure not to overcook the pasta - it should remain firm to the bite. And don't skimp on the sauce - the more flavors, the better!

Buon appetito!

The origin of Rigatoni

Rigatoni, the lip-smacking Italian specialty, is a much beloved pasta dish that has evolved over centuries to become the delectable staple it is today. But where did this signature dish come from?

The word itself comes from the Italian word “rigato,” which translates to "ridged" or "lined," a reference to the ribbed surface of the pasta. It’s believed that the Rigatoni origin story dates back to the 14th century in the province of Lazio and it was during this time that the first use of ridged pasta was recorded.

Though the shape of Rigatoni has changed since then, its popularity has only grown over time. As Italy was invaded by the French, the unique ridges began to be seen outside the region, eventually making its way to the public consciousness. The production of the pasta in factories and its eventual commercialization gave rise to the popularity of this scrumptious delicacy.

Another distinction of Rigatoni is the length - traditionally shorter than Penne but longer than Ziti - which can range anywhere from half an inch to two. This wide range of sizing, combined with the ridges, has made Rigatoni one of the most versatile and adaptable pasta dishes. It’s often used in recipes ranging from pasta bakes to lasagna and is usually served with ingredients like meat, cheese, olive oil, and tomatoes, creating a delicious meal.

And so, Rigatoni continues to thrive as an Italian classic and a beloved favorite across the world. With its savory, ribbed texture and customizable size, there’s no limit to the heavenly dishes that can be created with this timeless pasta.

FAQs about Rigatoni

Can I substitute rigatoni for penne?

Yes, you can substitute rigatoni for penne. Rigatoni is a larger version of penne, but they tend to have a similar texture and taste.

How do Italians eat rigatoni?

Typically, Italians eat rigatoni with some sort of tomato-based sauce, such as marinara or arrabbiata. They may also be topped with a cream sauce or Alfredo sauce (even though this is not a traditional Italian dish), and add other ingredients such as mushrooms, spinach, ham, or pancetta to the sauce. Cheese, such as parmesan, adds flavor and can also be sprinkled on top of the dish. A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil or herbs such as basil and oregano can add finishing touches.

Is Rigatoni a noodle or pasta?

Rigatoni is a type of pasta.

Is rigatoni and penne the same?

No, Rigatoni and Penne are not the same. Rigatoni is a larger, tubular pasta shape with ridges on the outside, while penne is smaller and shaped like a quill or cylinder.

Is rigatoni or penne better?

This is mainly a matter of personal preference. Both are popular types of pasta and they each have their own characteristics; rigatoni is larger and thicker with ridges and penne is smaller and smoother. You may find that one is more to your liking than the other.

What is rigatoni for?

Rigatoni is a type of pasta, usually tube-shaped, that is commonly used for making pasta dishes such as casseroles, sauces, and bakes. It is also often served with tomato-based sauces, vegetables, meats, and cheeses.

What's the difference between ziti and rigatoni?

Ziti and rigatoni are both types of large pasta tubes. Ziti is commonly available in the form of tubes or it can also be found in other shapes such as bows and shells. Rigatoni is a large, ridged tube that is slightly thicker than ziti and tends to have a wider opening.

Types of Rigatoni

Rigatoni has a special place in the culinary world. This beloved Italian pasta dish is known for its cylindrical shape and delightful combination of spices and flavors. But what many don't realize is that there are several forms of Rigatoni that can be used in dishes to create an array of sumptuous meals. Let's take a look at some of the varieties of Rigatoni that you can find in your local grocer.

Traditional Rigatoni is a tube-shaped pasta that comes with ridges along its exterior. This gives the Rigatoni a distinct look and feel. The ridges which appear on the surface of the pasta give it a better ability to retain sauces and seasonings, making for a more flavorful dish. Traditional Rigatoni is ideal for chunky and hearty sauces like Bolognese and arrabbiata.

For a light and airy Rigatoni dish, one might consider using Orecchiette. These cork-screwed shaped pastas are small, but they boast an incredibly large surface area. The unique shape gives it a texture like no other rigatoni noodle, and is perfect for Baked Rigatoni dishes. The light size of these noodles also makes them great for pairing with light and creamy sauces.

Then there's the Ziti Rigatoni. This variety of Rigatoni is slightly thicker than traditional Rigatoni, and instead of ridges, the noodles feature smooth sides. This makes them perfect for baking dishes like lasagna - where the noodles will help create a gooey and delicious layer of cheese and flavor. Ziti Rigatoni is also a great choice for dishes like mac and cheese or even soups.

Finally, we have Cannelloni Rigatoni. This variety of Rigatoni is an extra-large tube-shape, similar to traditional Rigatoni, but with a diameter of about two inches. The extra size of Cannelloni Rigatoni makes it great for stuffing with fillings like ricotta, spinach, and other ingredients. Its size also allows it to pair well with robust sauces, such as tomato or alfredo.

It's clear to see that when it comes to Rigatoni, there are plenty of delicious options to explore. From traditional to stuffable and beyond, you're sure to find a type of Rigatoni that suits your taste.