This pasta is al forno is baked pasta with a bolognese ragu sauce, bechamel, mozzarella and parmigiano reggiano. It’s baked until the cheese is melted and everything is delicious. You can’t go wrong with pasta al forno!
Pasta al forno simply means “oven baked pasta” in Italian. The pasta is boiled like you would prepare regular pasta, then it’s mixed with a sauce, layered in a baking dish with cheese, and baked in the oven
There are many versions of pasta al forno – some with hard boiled egg, tiny meatballs and bechamel, and there are countless vegetarian versions – some with eggplant, and various vegetables.
This version uses rigatoni or penne, a rich ragu made with pancetta and beef, tomatoes, bechamel and melted cheese. They’re classic flavors that make a delicious pasta bake.
Pasta Al Forno
This pasta is al forno is baked pasta with a bolognese ragu sauce, bechamel, mozzarella and parmigiano reggiano. It's baked until the cheese is melted and everything is delicious. You can't go wrong with pasta al forno!
For the sauce
- 1 serving bolognese sauce
For the bechamel
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1 litre whole milk
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- salt to taste
For the pasta
- 750 g rigatoni or penne pasta
- 2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup grated parmigiano reggiano
Make the sauce according to the bolognese sauce recipe
Make the bechamel
In a pan, melt the butter. Add the flour. Once the flour is mixed in, pour in the milk slowly and whisk while pouring it in.
Add nutmeg and salt. Keep whisking until bechamel has thickened. As it reached the boiling point, it will thicken significantly. Keep whisking for an additional 5-10 minutes. This should take about 20-30 minutes total.
Assemble the pasta bake
Cook the pasta in boiling salted water. Make sure it is very al dente when taken out because the pasta will also cook slightly when baked.
Drain the pasta and place it in a large bowl. Add about 3/4 of the sauce and mix well.
Add sauce to the bottom of a large/deep baking dish. Add half the pasta to the dish. Top with half the bechamel, half the mozzarella and half the parmigiano.
Add with remaining pasta, and top with remaining sauce, bechamel, mozzarella, and parmigiano.
Bake at 375°F for 30-45 minutes, or until heated through.
Serve and enjoy!
- I typically simmer the bolognese for around 3 hours (as indicated in the recipe), but for this pasta al forno recipe, I simmered the sauce for only about 2 hours, since it will thicken up in the oven.