Veggie Riggies: A Rigatoni Saute #SundaySupper

Veggie Riggies a Vegetarian rigatoni sauteWhat the heck are riggies? Short for rigatoni, the barrel shaped pasta that is hearty and perfect for scooping up a thick sauce. If you have read H.A.G. before, you know that I am originally from Central New York, home of “Wicked Chicken Riggies,” of the restaurant, Pastabilities. They were featured on the Food Network for this “Wicked” recipe that includes rigatoni (the riggies), chicken and is so called “wicked” for it’s hotness…and also awesomeness in my opinion. But for this week, the week of Worldwide Vegetarian Day (!), I decided to make a twist on this “wicked” dish and serve it up, vegetarian-style. Hold on, because it is de-licious!before mixing rigatoni and vegetable sauce: spicy

I kept the recipe a saute, because if you put this in the oven, it becomes a ziti. This is not that guy. This is a creamy, salty, hot, plate of hearty vegetables and chewy pasta. The ultimate comfort meal. I also tweaked the original recipe quite a bit, so if you are up for it, let’s go!

Here’s the recipe:

Veggie Riggies: A Rigatoni Saute #SundaySupper

A creamy, spicy, comforting pasta dish that will satisfy vegetarians and meat-eaters alike!


  • For the Hot sauce:
  • 2 chili in adobo (from a little can- freeze the rest in a ziplock)
  • ½ cup hot deli style cherry peppers, sliced
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • For the Riggies:
  • 1/3 cup olive oil plus 1-2 Tbsps.
  • ½ yellow onion, diced small
  • 1 tablespoons finely minced fresh garlic
  • 1 tsp. dry basil
  • 1 tsp. dry oregano
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 tsp. dried red pepper flakes
  • 2 green peppers, chopped medium (2 cups)
  • 1 red pepper,chopped medium (1 cup)
  • 1 orange pepper, chopped medium (1 cup)
  • 2 medium zucchini, quartered and rough chopped
  • 1 pkg. (8 oz. total) sliced Baby Bella mushrooms
  • 28oz. can of tomato sauce or puree (your choice)
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup grated Romano
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 pound dried rigatoni noodles
  • 2 cups baby spinach* (optional)


    First, Make the hot sauce:
  1. To a blender, add the 2 adobo-chilis, the ½ cup of hot cherry peppers, and ¼ cup olive oil. Put the top on and BLEND. Don’t breathe in- this is spicy! Set to the side for later.
  2. Now Make the Veggie Riggies:
  3. In a large pot, heat the 1/3 cup of the olive oil over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the onion, garlic, basil, oregano, salt, black pepper, cayenne and red pepper flakes. Stir well and cook until the onions are translucent.
  4. Add the chopped peppers into the onion mixture. Stir and cook 3-5 minutes. You don’t want to crowd the pan, so remove the mixture to another bowl. Set aside.
  5. To the now empty pot, add 1 Tbsp oil and cook the zucchini and mushrooms for 3-5 minutes until the vegetables are somewhat tender. Sprinkle with ½ tsp salt.
  6. Add back the veggies that you cooked previously, and the reserved hot sauce. Stir and continue cooking for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Add the tomato sauce, heavy cream, Romano and sugar. Stir completely, and lower the temperature to low. Continue to cook on low or turn off it's too bubbly as you make the rigatoni noodles.
  8. Cook the rigatoni noodles until firm to the bite, and drain.
  9. To serve, toss the pasta and the sauce together, all at once or in batches, and pour into a serving platter or in individual bowls.
  10. Serve. Garnish with more Romano, dried hot peppers, or parsley.


Recipe inspired by the restaurant in Syracuse, NY, Pastabilities

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TaDa! A beautiful plate of comforting pasta and tons of fresh vegetables smothered in a creamy, spicy, tomato sauce. You will love how this comes together. Enjoy.

veggie riggies: A riggatoni saute

For lots of other GREAT vegetarian dishes (and by the way, who doesn’t need more great meatless ideas in their cooking arsenal?) check out the line-up from the SundaySupper folks, with special thanks to the event host: Susan Pridmore  from The Wimpy Vegetarian. I know you won’t leave disappointed!





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8 thoughts on “Veggie Riggies: A Rigatoni Saute #SundaySupper

  1. eileenbakingsense

    That is a great looking pasta dish. This would be right up our alley for a winter meal. Can’t wait to try it.

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