Pasta al Forno


Homemade lasagna is one of my favorite meals, but it is so much work to make. When I’m craving lasagna but don’t have time to go to the trouble, pasta al forno (literally ‘oven pasta’ in Italian) comes in to save the day. It’s essentially all the ingredients of lasagna, but with short noodles instead of long lasagna noodles. It’s a great way to use all that yummy meat sauce and makes for an easy, delicious meal.

Pasta al Forno

Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4 people
Difficulty: Intermediate

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour 
1 cup hot milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup Bolognese Meat Sauce
1 Box of short pasta (farfalle or rotini)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated

1. Pre-heat oven to 400F, boil salted water for pasta, and heat milk.
2. For the béchamel sauce, melt butter in pot and stir the flour into the butter with a spatula until it gets creamy without lumps. When it darkens, begin pouring milk in 1/4 cup at a time. Stir constantly and when it thickens, keep pouring the rest of the milk in. When all the milk has been added and the sauce has thickened, add salt and remove from heat.
3. Heat the bolognese meat sauce and grate parmesan cheese.
4. Cook the pasta till it is al dente (not fully cooked) and drain.
5. Pour pasta in an oven-safe pan. Spread meat sauce and the béchamel sauce over the noodles and mix so that all the noodles are covered in sauce. When noodles are fully covered in sauce, sprinkle parmesan cheese over the whole dish.
6. Bake for 10 minutes at 400F and serve immediately with extra fresh parmesan.