Making Stuffed Rigatoni with Paulo Cabernet Sauvignon


My favorite times in the kitchen are working side by side with someone to create new spontaneous recipes.  It is fun, conversational, and a feeling of accomplishing something as a team. Today Paul wanted to recreate something that I had experienced in Naples after the International Wine Tourism Conference. Behind our hotel, 5 star Romeo, there was a small family owned restaurant. It was one of those places that you have to knock on the door and await approval by the owner to be received. Fortunately, we were received.

Once inside Paul ordered spaghetti with clams and I ordered a stuffed pasta dish. The restaurant was out of my dish but offered to do a “house special”. I was thrilled. What they created was a plate of long rigatoni style pasta stuffed with seasoned ricotta. It was topped with marinara sauce and parmesan cheese. This is a great example of how a restaurant can go above and beyond to exceed a guest’s expectations. It is very time consuming to fill each individual rigatoni!

Well, today, Paul and I decided to recreate the moment. Here is the recipe that we prepared:

1 part Messina Hof Raspberry Chipotle Sauce

2 parts Pesto (this was a homemade pesto from our garden basil with olive oil, parmesan cheese, and pine nuts)

4 parts Ricotta cheese

Heavy cream to achieve a texture that can be piped through a pastry bag.

Partially cook the rigatoni to supple but not soft. Drain and rinse with cold water. Fill pastry bag with ricotta filling and individually pipe the filling into the rigatoni tubes. Place each tube in the pan creating one layer of pasta tubes. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with Italian Herb mix. Spoon the marinara lightly over the pasta.

Place in preheated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. Serve with a big red wine like the Paulo Cabernet Sauvignon.

This meal is delicious! The best part was making it with my sweetheart husband Paul.