The vegetarian recipe for Baked Rigatoni with Button Mushrooms and Fennel:

servings – 5 to 6


  • 2 cups rigatoni (cook in salted water until al dente and drain)
  • 250 g pumpkin (steam until soft and peel)
  • 1 can white mushrooms (dice)
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 3 bell peppers – yellow, red and green (remove the stems, core and dice)
  • 1 stalk fennel (bulb: trim and cut into fine strips; leaves: chop)
  • 200 g mozzarella cheese – suitable for vegetarians (grate)
  • 50 g soft cheese – suitable for vegetarians
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp butter


  • 1 tbsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper powder


  1. Mix rigatoni with extra virgin olive oil.
  2. In a mixing bowl, mash pumpkin and soft cheese with a fork; add olive oil coated rigatoni (Step 1) and mix well.
  3. In a skillet, lightly fry and melt the butter; add white mushrooms and stir-fry over medium heat for 2 minutes; add black pepper powder and briefly stir-fry; add bell peppers, chickpeas, fennel bulb strips and salt, stir fry for 1 minute. Pour into the mixing bowl (Step 2) and mix well.
  4. In a 20 X 20 cm non-stick cake pan, place 1 rigatoni layer (Step 3), spread with mozzarella cheese and fennel leaves; place another rigatoni layer and spread mozzarella cheese and fennel leaves on top.
  5. Cover the baking pan with a sheet of aluminium foil.
  6. Bake in a preheated oven at 175°C for 30 minutes.
  7. Remove the foil and broil for another 5 minutes or until the cheese on top turns slightly brown.
  8. Remove from the oven, slice and serve.