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.
In my eyes, Italian cuisine is love on a plate.
Vanessa is Creative Director of the Italian Spoon website and Author of The Italian entertaining cookbook, a collection of home-style Italian recipes and tips for entertaining in true Italian-style. In addition to cooking and taking photographs, Vanessa writes the recipes and blogs to bring the love of Italian cooking to life! The collection of recipes and blogs on the website have been inspired by travels to Italy and desire to share what she has learnt from the great ‘Mamma’s and ‘Nonna’s in her life!
Vanessa is an entrepreneur and wife to husband Simone and the mother of two beautiful kids Dante and Mia. Even so she was born and lives in Melbourne Australia, Vanessa has a deep connection to Italy. Perhaps it is the food, or maybe it is because it is the place where Vanessa met the love of her life, Simone to whom she has been happily married for so many years.
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