Another baked pasta? Yep. It’s that time of the year guys!!! Aka the best time of the year. If only it could be fall all year round, right?

Give me pasta and I’ll be a happy girl. Give me a pasta bake and I’ll be even happier. The oven does magic to a cheesy pasta. I’m telling you, it’s something else. This pasta is really easy and fairly simple. Pasta. Sauce. Cheese. Bake. Done. Easy, right? Okay so let me break it down for you. First comes the crispy bacon and savory pan grilled chicken. Then you start to sauté onion, garlic and mushrooms in the bacon fat. The bacon drippings give it so much flavor it’s a must. Then comes the cream, parmesan and basil.

Mix in your rigatoni and add some ricotta pockets and mozzarella on top. Then put it in the oven till the top is crispy and the cheese is melty. Perfection. Although you can totally eat this pasta without baking it, the oven really does take it to a new level. The pockets of ricotta melt and make it extra creamy. Plus the heat of the oven will crisp some of the pasta and that’s the best part about it. Really, you must make this asap! It’s my favorite pasta lately, I can’t get enough of it. I think my husband had two huge servings of it. It’s that good. Such a hearty pasta with a classic sauce. Everyone will love it I promise.

Try this with:






Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 40 minutes

Total time: 50 minutes

Serves: 4


For the pasta:

  • 1/2 lb rigatoni pasta (1/2 box)
  • 1 cup reserved pasta water

For the chicken:

  • 1 chicken breast, cut into two equal halves
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Dried oregano

For the sauce:

  • 2 strips bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, small dice
  • 5 garlic cloves, small dice
  • 1 cup baby Bella mushrooms, cut into small chunks
  • 2 tbsp butter, salted
  • 1/2 cup half + half
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil, chiffonade
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • Reserved pasta water

For topping:

  • 1.5 cups mozzarella, shredded
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese, good quality


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

For the pasta:

  1. Cook pasta in salted water until just before al dente. It will finish cooking in the oven later on. Drain but do not rinse.
  2. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water for later use.

For the chicken:

  1. Season the chicken with salt, pepper and dried oregano on both sides.
  2. Heat a pan to medium and coat the bottom with olive oil.
  3. Cook chicken for about 4 minutes a side, or until cooked through. Remove from the pan and let sit for 5 minutes before slicing into strips. Set aside for later use.

For the sauce:

  1. Heat a pan to medium and add in the bacon. Cook until crispy and then remove from the pan and drain on paper towels. Do not rinse the pan.
  2. Immediately add in the butter onion, garlic and mushroom. Continue to cook until the mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add in the heavy cream and half and half. Bring to a soft boil.
  4. Add in parmesan cheese, basil and red pepper flakes. Stir until cheese is melted.
  5. Add in a couple tbsp of reserved pasta water at a time until the sauce reaches the desired consistency.
  6. Turn the heat off.

For assembly:

  1. Add the chicken, bacon and rigatoni to the sauce and mix until everything is combined.
  2. Transfer the pasta to a large baking dish.
  3. Scoop large spoonfuls of ricotta and place in the pasta every two inches. Slightly push the ricotta down into the pasta with a spoon, creating pockets throughout the pasta.
  4. Top pasta with the mozzarella and then place in the oven for 10-15 minutes until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is melted.
  5. Remove from the oven and serve hot with extra Parmesan cheese!

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