How To Cook Rigatoni

Rigatoni are a less known, but still popular Italian pasta type. They are similar to Penne, but somewhat larger and often curved, although not as curved as elbow macaroni. But do you know how to cook rigatoni pasta?

Follow these 7 easy steps below and your rigatoni pasta will turn out delicious and perfect every time. I’ll also share with you some pro tips so that you never fail again making a yummy rigatoni dish.

Rigatoni pasta
Rigatoni pasta

What You Need

  • Large pot
  • Tongue or wooden spoon or spatula
  • Colander
  • Rigatoni
  • Water
  • Salt

7 Steps To Cook Rigatoni

  1. Boil water in a large pot. Use a very large pot for cooking rigatoni and bring the water up to a complete boil over high heat.
  2. Add a large amount of salt. Italians say that you should cook rigatoni, any type of pasta for that matter, in water as salty as the sea. In practice, you should add 1-2% salt to your water. That means about 1/2-1 tbsp (10-20 g) of salt for each quart (liter) of water.
  3. Add rigatoni and set your timer. Add rigatoni to the salty water and set your timer to the cooking time indicated in the packaging. You can set your heat to medium-low at this point.
  4. Stir in the first minute. Stir rigatoni occasionally in the first minute of cooking. You don’t need to stir it after that.
  5. Cook for 11-13 minutes. Rigatoni cooking time is indicated in the packaging, but by cooking it for 12 minutes you couldn’t go wrong. See below for more tips.
  6. Drain the rigatoni. Once cooked, drain rigatoni in a colander.
  7. Add sauce. If you want to avoid your rigatoni sticking together, transfer them into the sauce right after draining it and mix them.

Rigatoni Cooking Time

Dry rigatoni pasta cooking time is 11-13 minutes. For best results follow the time indicated in the packaging, but cooking dry rigatoni pasta for 12 minutes will always work.

One pro tip is to taste rigatoni 1-2 minutes before the indicated cooking time, and then every minute. This way you can adjust the chewiness to your personal preferences.

Italian Tricks For Cooking Perfect Rigatoni

The very first tip for cooking perfect rigatoni is to mix them with the sauce right after draining. This is the best way to stop them from sticking together, and this way your freshly cooked rigatoni will absorb the juices and liquids from the sauce. “The” tip to make finger-licking rigatoni dishes all the time.

Cook rigatoni in very salty water. Italians say the water should be as salty as the sea. This is about 3.8% in the Mediterranean, which I find pretty salty for cooking noodles. But you should still add 1-2% of salt to your water. This means about 1/2-1 tbsp (10-20 g) of salt for each quart (liter) of water.

Use a large quantity of water. A general rule of thumb is 1 liter per 100 g of rigatoni. This means 4 1/2 quarts of water for a 16 oz pack of rigatoni. But if you use a gallon of water (4 quarts or 4 liters) per pack of 16 ounces (500 g) rigatoni, you can’t go wrong.

Can You Reheat Rigatoni?

You can easily reheat rigatoni if they have not yet been mixed with the sauce. In fact this is the way Italian restaurants are able to serve fresh pasta in no time.

The process is simple. You pre-cook your rigatoni and store them in a dry place. Right before serving it, you put your noodles back in boiling water for 1-2 minutes. You’ll get perfect fresh cooked rigatoni this way.

Rigatoni in colander

How To Cook Rigatoni

Balazs Szilagyi
Make perfect rigatoni pasta every time
No ratings yet
Prep Time 1 min
Cook Time 11 mins
Total Time 12 mins
Course Appetizer, Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 servings

Equipment

  • Large pot
  • Tongue or wooden spoon or spatula
  • Colander

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pack dry rigatoni 16 oz or 500 g
  • 4 quarts water 4 liters
  • 3 tbsp salt 60 g

Instructions
 

  • Bring water up to a boil in a large pot.
  • Add salt to the water.
  • Add dry rigatoni pasta and set your timer to 11 minutes.
  • Stir during the first minute.
  • Cook for 11 minutes. No need to stir after the first minute.
  • Drain cooked rigatoni pasta in a colander.
  • Mix with sauce and serve.
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