Sunday, 13 May 2012

Pasta Al Forno

Pasta Al Forno means baked Pasta. I have made this very simply with a marinara sauce and some ricotta, provolone and mozzarella cheeses. You can add meat or not.

You will need:

Cheese version

  • 1- 500g/1 lb package of tube pasta -like a rigatoni or penne
  • 1 container of ricotta cheese-drained
  • 150 grams provolone cheese- chopped
  • mozzarella for top -grated
  • 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes or 2 x 14 oz
  • 3 cloves garlic crushed
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley- chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil- chopped 
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp chili flakes (pepperoncino)
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper
Meat (optional)
  • ground beef 1/2 pound
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp chili flakes
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley and basil
  • salt and pepper
2- 8x5 1/2 inch tin containers with lids or 1 large Pyrex dish

Step 1: Get a large pot of salted water boiling to cook pasta al dente (do not over cook since the pasta will continue to cook in the oven) Cook according to directions on package.

Step 2: make sauce- you can easily cut this recipe in half for two people or what I typically do is make half as a cheese pasta and half I add meat to and freeze for later. Add all ingredients to crushed tomatoes and cook 5-10 minutes.

Step 3: drain container of ricotta (you can do this a few hours before you start) I don't mind if there is still some water. Chop the provolone cheese.

Step 4: saute and season your beef if you are using it. You should cook it until all the water has evaporated and the meat has browned. This may take 20 minutes.

Step 5: ladle a bit of sauce in both pans so the pasta does not stick.

Step 6: drain your hot pasta and  return to the pot you cooked it in. Add ricotta cheese, provolone cheese and half of the sauce.Taste it and adjust salt and pepper if necessary.

Step 7: you can half fill the tins with pasta and then add some meat to one. Top with mozzarella cheese and more pasta to fill.

Step 8: top with some tomato sauce and some mozzarella. Bake at 350 degrees F until lightly browned and bubbling.

You can serve with more cheese and sauce or just as it is.

1 comment:

  1. I HAVE TO make this....looks just decadent.
    It's all about portion control, because I could eat the whole pan.