Top 5 Pasta al forno (pasta bake) recipes
14 Sep 2018
Pasta al forno in Italian means ‘baked pasta’. As the name suggests, it is an Italian-style pasta bake. I love cooking pasta al forno – it can be prepared in advance and is perfect for large family gatherings. For this reason, it is a popular Italian dish to cook on special occasions or on Sundays, particularly in Southern Italy where my Italian roots are.The most traditional pasta al forno recipe would have to be the classic Ragù alla Bolognese (Bologna-style ragù), cheese and Besciamella (Bechamel sauce) combination however there are so many variations. Vegetable based pasta al forno recipes are also authentic and equally as impressive to guests and make a very hearty meal.
Technically Lasagne is classified as a type of pasta al forno. Lasagne is one of the most traditional Italian dishes and for this reason, it is worthy of more discussion and will be coming up as a blog all on it’s own.
Here are the basic principles to create the perfect pasta al forno.
- Partially cook the pasta
Pasta al forno requires the pasta to be partially cooked in boiling water. As a rule of thumb, partially cook the pasta for ¾ of the ‘al dente’ cooking time (refer to the cooking time specified in pasta packet instructions). Rigatoni is the classic pasta choice for pasta al forno. Good pasta choices also include tortiglioni, penne and many other tube pasta shapes.
- Must be saucy
Pasta al forno must have a sauce, whether it be Ragù alla Bolognese, Besciamella or a vegetable-based sauce.
- Add lots of cheese
All variations of pasta al forno recipes contain a common ingredient – cheese. The most common cheese to use in pasta al forno are Mozzarella, Scamorza Affumicata (smoked cheese similar to mozzarella in texture), Caciocavallo, Provola and Parmigiano (mostly to finely grate on top).
Here are my Top 5 Pasta al forno recipes to get you started. I hope these recipes inspire you to create your own version of pasta al forno using seasonal produce. Whichever of these recipes you choose to cook, whether it by 1 or all 5 recipes, I guarantee that our pasta al forno recipe will be a fulfilling meal that the whole family will enjoy – buon appetito.
1. Pasta al forno (pasta bake)
2. Creamy broccoli and pork sausage pasta al forno (pasta bake)
3. Eggplant (aubergine) pasta al forno (pasta bake)
4. Conchiglioni (large pasta shells) filled with ricotta
5. Creamy cauliflower pasta al forno (pasta bake)
Top 5 Pasta al forno (pasta bake) recipes blog authored by Vanessa Bottaro.
What is second best thing to being in beautiful Italy? Cooking and writing about Italian food, of course!
I live in Melbourne, Australia with my husband Simone and two children. They are my first love! Italian Spoon brings my second love for cooking Italian food and blogging to life and I am loving it!
I hope to inspire you to continue the tradition of Italian home cooking. Buon appetito!
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