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A plate of pasta al forno and a casserole dish with pasta al forno, hot out of the oven.

Pasta Al Forno

Tonight is the night to whip up this amazingly delicious Pasta al Forno recipe, featuring a luscious meat sauce and tender rigatoni.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Resting time 5 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8 servings
Calories 562 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil extra virgin
  • 1 medium yellow onion peeled and grated/processed in food processor
  • 2 large carrots peeled and grated/processed in food processor
  • 3 stalks celery grated/processed in food processor
  • 2 cloves garlic grated/processed in food processor
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 lb. sweet Italian sausage ground or removed from casings
  • 14 oz. canned tomato puree
  • 14 oz. canned crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. oregano dried
  • 1 tbsp. thyme leaves dried
  • 1 tbsp. parsley dried
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes optional
  • 1 tsp. all spice ground
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tsp. black pepper coarsely ground
  • 1 lb. pasta rigatoni, ziti, or penne would be best
  • 2 tbsp. salt to season pasta water
  • 8 oz. mozzarella cheese shredded
  • 2 oz. parmesan cheese shredded

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C.
  • Prepare a 9x13 inch casserole dish by spraying with cooking spray.

Make the Pasta Sauce

  • In a large cast skillet set to medium high, heat extra virgin olive oil for about 1 minute. Add grated onion, carrots, celery, and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is dry and translucent.
  • Add ground beef and sausage, using a wooden spoon to break up the large pieces of meat. Brown the meat, about 7 minutes.
  • Add the tomato puree, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, oregano, thyme, parsley, red pepper flakes, all spice, bay leaves, salt and pepper.
  • Stir, bring sauce to a boil and then reduce to a simmer on medium low heat.
  • Continue to simmer sauce while the pasta cooks, about 15 minutes.

Cook the Pasta

  • While the sauce is simmering, bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  • Add pasta and 2 tbsp. salt to the boiling water, and cook the pasta according to package instructions.
  • Drain the pasta and return noodles to the pot in which they were cooked.

Stir in the Sauce

  • Remove the bay leaves from the sauce when it is done simmering and the pasta is fully cooked.
  • Add meat sauce to cooked noodles. Stir to combine.

Prepare the Casserole

  • Pour sauced noodles into the prepared casserole dish.
  • Sprinkle the noodles with shredded mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese.
  • Bake at 350°F/175°C until cheese is bubbly and slightly browned, about 20 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and let stand for 5-10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 562kcalCarbohydrates: 23gProtein: 30gFat: 40gSaturated Fat: 16gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 111mgSodium: 3071mgPotassium: 1126mgFiber: 6gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 4485IUVitamin C: 24mgCalcium: 383mgIron: 6mg
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