Easy Italian cooking idea for dinner tonight!

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Stay at home orders have more and more families exploring new recipes and fun in the kitchen.

Cliff Vasos of Carrabba’s Italian Grill in Wilmington says that pasta recipes can be easy for the home cook and proves it by making Rigatoni Martino.

The recipe can be made for two or more people and includes ingredients like mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, chicken and lots of cheese.  Vasos says it is “a classic that pleases everyone.”

If you don’t feel like cooking, Carrabba’s Italian Grill is offering carside carryout and delivery.  The restaurant has opened and is observing all safety precautions.

Here is the recipe for Rigatoni Martino (2 servings):


2 TBL Soybean Oil

1 cup Sliced Mushrooms

½ tsp Chopped Garlic

1 + 1/3 cup Tomato Sauce

2/3 cup Heavy Cream

5 cups Rigatoni Pasta

24 pieces Sundried Tomatoes, sliced ¼ inch

½ cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

4 TBL Grated Ricotta Salate Cheese*

2 TBL Green Onions, thinly sliced


  1. Heat oil in a large sauté pan or sauce pot. Add mushrooms and sauté for 2-3 minutes, until the mushrooms have some browning on them. Add chopped garlic and cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
  2. Add tomato sauce and cream. Bring to a boil and simmer for 4-5 minutes to incorporate the sauces. Turn off heat.
  3. Bring 1 gallon of water to boil and add 1 TBL of salt to the water. Cook rigatoni pasta until al dente. Drain the pasta, do not rinse, and add it to the sauce.
  4. Add sundried tomatoes to the sauce. Turn the flame back on and add cheese. Stirring the pasta and sauce overheat until the cheese is melted into the sauce.
  5. Use a cook spoon to separate the pasta into two large serving bowls. Grate ricotta salate on top of the pasta. Sprinkle green onions over pasta.
  6. Serve with no protein or top it with sliced grilled chicken or cooked sausage

*Ricotta Salate is a cheese made with whey from sheep’s milk that is pressed, salted, and aged. The salting process removes most of the water, so the cheese is very dry and grates or crumbles easily. It is an excellent topping for pasta and salads. In Italian the word “Salate” means salted.

For more information on Carrabba’s click here.

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