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Rigatoni and meat sauce

A simple pasta dinner that takes 30 minutes, but tastes like it took hours!


Has anyone been cooking at home more often? Yeah, me too.

This rigatoni and meat sauce recipe was inspired by wanting a home-cooked meal, and needed to do it fast.

One night, I was looking for something really easy to make with a few ingredients.

I needed something fast, but of course flavorful, because that’s how we roll here in the Buckley household.

I made this pasta sauce with a few ingredients. It’s incredibly simple.

Ingredients and tools for rigatoni and meat sauce

There are a few simple tools you’ll need to make this meat sauce:

As for ingredients there are a few:

  • Rigatoni (we measured out 4 servings of pasta)
  • 1 lb of ground beef
  • Oregano
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Parmigiano Reggiano rind
  • Shaved Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)
  • Fresh tomato (blended)
  • Tomato paste
  • Dried parsley (for that pretty garnish)

I had most of these things lying around my kitchen, so It was really an easy one to throw together.

One of the things I love most about this red sauce is the umami flavor that comes from letting parmisiano reggiano rind soak in the sauce.

For such a simple dish, adding that one thing gives the sauce a depth of flavor that you can only imagine when you eat the sauce.

I’m completely obsessed with this dish, and we’ve made it at least once a week since I got it to our liking.

Find the recipe below and save it for one of your weeknight dinner adventures. If you can’t make it now, be sure to pin it for later!

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Rigatoni and meat sauce

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 14 reviews

  • Author: Mila Clarke Buckley
  • Total Time: 31 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
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This hearty dish is insanely delicious and takes just under 3o minutes to make. You’ll love the rich sauce and flavorful sauce! 


Units Scale
  • Rigatoni (we measured out 4 servings of pasta)
  • 1 lb of ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon Avocado Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Oregano
  • 2 cloves Garlic (diced)
  • 1/2 white onion Onion (diced)
  • Parmigiano Reggiano rind
  • Shaved Parmigiano Reggiano (for garnish)
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 24 oz of fresh tomato (blended)
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste.
  • Dried parsley (for that pretty garnish)


  1. In a heavy-bottomed pot add your diced garlic and diced onion and a little bit of oil on medium heat. let them sweat a little bit, but they don’t need a ton of color. 
  2. Next, add in your ground beef, salt, pepper and oregano.
  3. Cook until your meat has browned, and then add in your tomato and tomato paste
  4. Stir until all of your ingredients come together. 
  5. Add in parmesan rind and let the sauce simmer on medium-low heat for 15-30 minutes.
  6. Season with salt and pepper at this point. 
  7. About 9-10 minutes before your sauce is finished, cook your pasta according to the package directions. You can use any pasta for this, but rigatoni was our choice. 
  8. Place your drained pasta into your bowl, top with meat sauce, shaved parm and sprinkle with parsley. 


  • Macros for this recipe DO NOT include pasta. You can use any pasta for this, so calculate that separately.
  • You can literally use any pasta for this, you’ll get the same great result! 
  • If you simmer the meat sauce longer, you’ll get a more intense flavor from the cheese rind. It’s nice umami that’s hard to describe, but it adds a nice earthy/saltiness to the sauce. 
  • If you want more meaty sauce, use less tomato! 
  • Prep Time: 1 minute
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes


  • Serving Size: 1/2 cup meat sauce
  • Calories: 155
  • Sugar: 2.2 g
  • Sodium: 41.4 mg
  • Fat: 10.4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 3.9 g
  • Fiber: 1.1 g
  • Protein: 11.3 g
  • Cholesterol: 38.5 mg
About Mila

Hi! I'm Mila.

I’m earning my Master’s degree in Applied nutrition.

I’m currently an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach living with  LADA (Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults, a slow-progressing form of autoimmune Type 1 diabetes) I love food, travel, and my kitchen, and teaching you about diabetes self-management.

I’m here to help you live your best life possible diabetes by showing you how to create simple, blood-sugar friendly and delicious meals and tips on diabetes self-care.

Be sure to download my FREE Diabetes Community App Glucose Guide, or reach out for FREE 1:1 diabetes health and habit coaching.

How can I help with your diabetes management?

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14 Responses

  1. Love love loveeee pasta with meat sauce! I appreciate that you made your own sauce and added my favorite Parmigiano Reggiano! I will definitely be back for this one when I make pasta again

  2. This meat sauce came out amazingly! It was so easy to make, I’ll be making this part of our meal rotation!

  3. I love how quickly and easily this meat sauce came together! I made this for dinner for my family and they devoured it! Thanks for the great recipe!

  4. What a fantastic recipe! I’ve always wondered what the purpose of the parmesan rinds were that I saw for sale at the store! Now I know a recipe that makes excellent use of them and their umami flavor!

  5. Seriously, I think I could eat this everyday! Your recipe is amazing and I will add this to my meal plan for the week. My family will be so excited to eat this one night.

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