Pasta al Forno is delicious pasta bake with beef for your family. You will love this easy meat pasta with cheese and tomato sauce, baked to perfection. It is simple to make. Dinner ready in one hour to feed a crowd.
Try our best pasta al forno recipe! Really good Italian pasta bake recipe. I will show you how to make pasta al forno at home step by step.
Save this delicious and easy pasta dinner recipe for your family. DELIZIOSO!
I think this meat pasta is great to serve with a salad on the side and a glass of good red wine! It has simple and cosy flavors which makes it perfect for sharing around your family dinner table.
This easy pasta recipe can serve up to 4-5 people, depending on the size of a serving. And it can be adjusted to bigger amount of servings.
What is Al Forno style?
Al Forno is an Italian phrase that means “to the oven” or “baked” in English. It is pronounced al’forno. Typically Al Forno refers to the food that was baked in the oven.
Pasta Al Forno is simply baked Italian pasta dish, topped with cheese! If you ask me what is the point of baking pasta in the oven… Imagine crispy cheesy crust with a tender and saucy pasta and beef goodness. Best comfort food for your family.
So keep in mind, if you are hungry eat the bast a before it goes in the oven…. it is not Al Forno. You have to try this meat pasta!
How to make pasta al forno
Prepare ingredients for baked pasta casserole and preheat your oven to 375 F / 190 C.
First you need to fry meat on a pan for about 15 minutes. I used leftover beef mince, but you can also use chopped sausage instead.
Make tomato sauce. Brown chopped onion and garlic, then add tomato pulp and cooked meat.
Add basil, thyme and pepper to the sauce and simmer 20-30 minutes on low. Simple Italian sauce, but always good results, especially with pasta! You can use Homemade Marinara sauce instead.
Meanwhile your sauce is simmering, bring the large pot with salted water to boil. Add pasta and cook it al dente (it will finish cooking in the oven).
You can use any kind of short pasta tubes like rigatoni or penne. Adjust cooking time, if you use other type of pasta.
When pasta is baked Al dente (4-5 minutes less than instructed on the package), drain and add it immediately to the beef and tomato sauce.
In a baking tray layer pasta and cheese until the top: pasta with beef, then sprinkle half of mozzarella on top, then again pasta with beef.
You can also use other types of Italian cheeses like Provolone or Caciocavallo. However, Mozzarella is easier to find in your local store, and it always make good relationships with pasta! I used Mini Mozzarella balls that were cut in half.
Repeat the layers, if you have enough space in the baking tray.
Sprinkle Mozzarella and Parmesan on top.
- Linguine with vegetables and cheese - Vegetable pasta recipe
- Baked chicken breast - Roasted carrots - Easter dinner ideas
- Spooky Jack-O'-Lantern Chicken Pot Pie
- Moussaka recipe – Greek recipes - Mediterranean food
- Easy Shepherd's Pie – How To Make Shepherd's Pie
- Japanese Eggplant Recipe [Roasted Eggplant]
Bake 30 minutes and serve immediately!
How to store al forno pasta bake
It will last 3 to 5 days in the fridge. I use air tight containers for storing and portioning.
You can reheat pasta bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, in a pan or microwave for 5 minutes on low, stirring.
You can freeze it up to 2-3 months, if you cool pasta and store in freezer-safe bags or containers. Thaw overnight in the fridge, then reheat as mentioned above.
But of course all pasta dishes taste better, when they are just cooked!
Pasta Al forno – Oven baked pasta
Pasta Al Forno is a typical Italian dish with pasta in sauce with cheese that was baked in the oven.
You can use different style of pasta for this Italian dish – rigatoni, penne, anelletti, spaghetti and the list goes on! I like the short and medium tube pasta, when I am making such pasta dishes with sauce. So I would recommend using rigatoni, penne, ziti, macaroni or tortiglioni.
There are no precise standards or classic style to make this recipe! I think every Italian family has their own recipe for Pasta Al Forno. I would love to know how you Italian friend or grandma used to cook it. Let us know in the comments below.
Just think about typical Italian ingredients and spices and use your imagination. This is how this recipe was born in our Cooking Journey kitchen!
I don’t think I invented something special here. Simple ingredients like pasta, beef, tomato sauce, cheese and Italian spices can create a cosy dinner meal. What else do you need to feed your family?
This is a great pasta recipe with leftover meat. You can add in fried meatballs, salami, cut leftover steak or ham after your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.
By the way, Pasta Al Forno Siciliana version also includes fried eggplant slices. And Calabrian version (in south Italy) has boiled eggs.
Hope you will enjoy this Pasta Al Forno Recipe! I recommend to chose one of our Salad recipes as a side dish.
Other quick and easy beef and pasta dishes for your family dinner:
Cosy dinner bakes with beef:
Pasta al Forno
- 1-2 large pans
- 1 large pot
- 1-2 spoons for mixing
- 1 pasta strainer
- 1 baking pan 7 x 10 inch / 18 x25 cm
- 450 g beef mince fried/cooked or sausage
- ½ tsp black pepper crushed
- 1 tsp dried basil ground
- 1 tsp dried thyme ground
- ½ onion chopped
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 800 g canned tomatoes whole
- 300 g mozzarella balls halved, or shredded
- 300 g pasta tubes rigatoni or penne
- 30 g Parmesan cheese
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 350 F/ 190 C.
- Heat olive oil in a pan.1 tbsp olive oil
- Add onion and garlic, fry, stirring, until golden brown.½ onion, 2 garlic cloves
- Add cooked meat.*450 g beef mince
- Add canned tomatoes.800 g canned tomatoes
- Add basil, thyme and pepper.1 tsp dried basil, 1 tsp dried thyme, ½ tsp black pepper
- Stir and simmer the sauce for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, bring large pot with salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook al dente (5 minutes less than suggested on package).**300 g pasta tubes, ½ tsp salt, water
- Add drained al dente pasta to the beef sauce and combine.
- Add a layer of pasta with sauce to the baking dish.
- Add ½ mozzarella.300 g mozzarella balls
- Add leftover pasta with sauce.
- Add leftover mozzarella and sprinkle Parmesan on top.30 g Parmesan cheese
- Bake 30 minutes. Let it cool 10 minutes before serving.