Would add chopped sausage for more flavor
Might be a 4 star but I didn't have the fresh mozzarella and had to use shredded. I'm not big on the rigatoni pasta in this. Too large. I might use a cork-screw pasta next time. Flavors were good. Wish I had thought about the brown sugar in the sauce...I think that would've made it so much better. Will make again.
I had no ground beef on hand, so used medium spicy Italian sausage from my local Italian food store. It was delicious and definitely plenty to have for leftovers. This is a keeper with that one substitute.
I made this per the recipe. It could use more salt and perhaps some integral shredded cheese.
The recipe calls for red pepper.
My kids loved this and I loved sneaking in some vegetables. My grocery store didn't have the carton of tomatoes so I just used a large can of tomatoes and cut them. I also used the whole box of pasta. My kids are all taking the leftovers for lunch today. Will definitely make again!
How can you give this 5 stars when you changed some of the important items. Big difference between fresh and dried basil. And tomato sauce and strained tomatoes. I wish people would rate the ORIGINAL recipe and not their version.
I am always surprised when someone makes changes, in some cases - significant changes, and then complains the outcome was OK, not great. Really? Why is that a surprise to you? You didn't make the recipe -- you made your version of it. That's ok, but I would suggest that the first time you make the recipe as directed - then the next time, tweak it to your personal preference. That is the only way to know what you want changed. This is an Italian based (seasoned) recipe. Some added a Mexican flare to it with Red Pepper and wondered why it didn't work combining the two distinctly different flavors and seasoning ??? No duh.
Chicken broth is a always a good additive (especially instead of just water) It does normally does not take away from other seasoning flavors. While you might think, doesn't get it give you a 'chicken flavor' - the answer is no. When more liquid is needed -- chicken broth give you "more" than water which will do nothing but" water down a recipe." Chicken broth doesn't change the underling taste. Beef broth might make this more beefy tasting and but then mask the Italian Seasonings - causing you to add more seasoning to achieve the Italian taste.
You might be surprised, tomatoes are acidity. To cut that acid taste, instead of adding more salt, try just a touch of sugar. It cuts the acid bite and adds just a very slight sweet taste which compliments the other ingredients. I use brown sugar in my Spaghetti sauce to create a deep rich flavor and I am always asked - what did you do to this sauce - Its great? Brown sugar it the secret ingredient.
Since I have no need to hide veggies, just diced the onions and carrots. Used 28 oz Italian seasoned petite cut tomatoes. Salted products not no-salt. Might add spinach next time. Perhaps will cook rigatoni in advance next time. Spinach salad on the side works well.
I made this as listed, except used diced tomatoes instead of strained. Pretty good. Next time, I will use more garlic, delete the vinegar (it made it a little too sour), and maybe add some fresh spinach before it goes in the oven. But worth making!
YUM!!! Made this for dinner tonight and it is delicious!!!!!. I altered the meal and Pre-Cooked the pasta ahead of time eliminated the broth part,i used cooked carrots,diced tomatoes since that i what i had in the house and dried spices. Still this one is a cook book keeper :)
It was very tasty but I too substituted diced tomatoes (the kind that comes with basil, oregano, garlic) for the strained and dried basil for fresh. Also added more salt. We liked it and I will probably make again. Next time, though, I will cook the pasta before adding to the meat/sauce mixture and won't cook another 13 minutes. Think it might improve the texture of the Rigatoni. I know that it will no longer qualify for a one-dish meal but what's an extra pot to wash.
Other reviewers were correct when they said it needs more salt. It's basically incredibly bland. I won't be putting this one in my files.
I'm just wondering....why chicken stock? Seems like beef stock (or broth) would give it a richer taste.
This was just a really good, hearty meal that the whole family enjoyed. I used a 28 oz can of petite diced tomatoes instead of the strained and added just a bit more garlic. Will definitely make again.
Minor changes. Used 28oz can of petite diced tomatoes, doubled the garlic, and used 1/4 lb more beef That's it. Not sure why everyone added more salt. I simply seasoned the onion garlic mixture before adding the beef.
I added a few things based off of Diane's review. I added more salt, crushed red pepper, dried basil (along with the recommended fresh basil) - It was still lacking. It definitely made a whole lot. Waaaaaay too much for just me and one other. It didn't taste bad, it just wasn't great.
Agree with the first reviewer. This was really good! Get out your big pot...this makes a lot. We used 8oz of beef crumble substitute in place of the sirloin to make this vegetarian. And since we used low-sodium veggie broth instead of unsalted, I reduced the salt to 1/4 tsp.
Family really enjoyed this recipe......I did make a number of minor substitutions though....didn't use low/no salt items, used dried basil instead of fresh (1/3 of what was called for), tomato sauce in place of the strained tomatoes (they were ridiculously expensive). Liked the processing of the carrot and onion - allowed me to "hide" veggies (always good). Found that the finished product still lacked a little salt, and the serving size was at least 2 cups per person which was more than most of us could eat! Will definitely make again.