Rigatoni with Genovese-Style Meat Sauce – Chef John

Pasta alla Genovese

Rigatoni with Meat Sauce


I love Rigatoni… Don’t know about you. Rigatoni is my favorite pasta. Sometimes Mom used to make Rigatoni with meat sauce so I thought I would post this recipe by Chef John. I always love his recipes. 

You may not be aware of it but pasta is designed differently to create various scenarios where the sauce is dealt with differently. Some pastas have ridges and others are smooth. The ridges are made to catch the sauce, the smooth pastas are created to do the opposite. It would seem that a true pasta lover would get the best experience when the proper macaroni in both shape and size is used.  


Rigatoni are a form of tube-shaped pasta of varying lengths and diameters originating in Italy. They are larger than penne and ziti, and sometimes slightly curved, though nowhere near as curved as elbow macaroni.

Rigatoni characteristically have ridges down their length, sometimes spiraling around the tube, and unlike penne, rigatoni’s ends are cut square (perpendicular) to the tube walls instead of diagonally.

The word rigatoni comes from the Italian word rigato (rigatone being the augmentative and rigatoni the plural form), which means “ridged” or “lined”, and is associated with the cuisine of southern and central Italy. Rigatoncini are a smaller version, close to the size of penne. Their name takes on the diminutive suffix -ino (pluralized -ini) denoting their relative size.


Rigatoni is a particular favorite pasta shape in the south of Italy, especially in Sicily. Its namesake ridges make better adhesive surfaces for sauces and grated cheese than smooth-sided pasta like ziti.



This site contains product affiliate links. We may receive a commission if you make a purchase after clicking on one of these links.