Simple Italian pasta bake

    (4)
    1 hour 50 min

    This is the easiest version of traditional Italian baked pasta: just tomato sauce, mozzarella and grated Parmesan. Sometimes I use different pasta shapes with roughly the same cooking time, so I can finish the packages I have and make some room in my kitchen.

    alemarsi

    Washington, United States
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    Ingredients
    Serves: 6 

    • 1 tablespoon finely chopped carrot
    • 1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
    • 1 tablespoon finely chopped celery
    • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 600g passata or tinned chopped tomatoes
    • salt, to taste
    • 100g mozzarella cheese, cubed
    • 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
    • 400g short pasta (fusilli, penne, farfalle, maccheroni)

    Method
    Prep:20min  ›  Cook:1hr  ›  Extra time:30min freezing  ›  Ready in:1hr50min 

    1. Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4.
    2. In a saucepan on medium-low heat cook onion, carrot and celery in oil until just colored, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and stir. Bring to medium heat, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes. Adjust seasoning and remove from heat.
    3. Cook pasta in abundant salted water for half of the time on the package. Drain and transfer to bowl. Reserve 1 ladle of sauce and add the rest to the pasta. Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons of the grated Parmesan and toss well.
    4. Spread the reserved ladle of tomato sauce on the bottom of a baking dish. Add pasta, top with mozzarella and sprinkle with remaining grated Parmesan.
    5. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer to the top rack and turn on the grill until browned. Remove from oven, cover with aluminium foil and let stand for about 20 minutes before serving.

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