There is nothing I love better than melted mozzarella and crispy edged pasta. The recipe is so easy and it is one you can prepare ahead of time. I prepared this in the morning so all that had to be done was put it in the oven. The dish is Pasta al forno or in english oven baked pasta. The key to this dish is a great tomato sauce and fresh hand made mozzarella or as we call it in italian bocconcini. You can also put some shredded mortadella which is an italian cold cut it just melts when baked and adds such a rich flavor to the dish, but tonight I made it simple just with a tomato sauce, but I did use some left over peppers and onion I had in the fridge. Enjoy!
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- 300 grams of De Cecco Penne pasta
- 1 can of D.O.P. San Marzano tomatoes
- 1/4 red pepper
- 1/4 yellow pepper
- 1/4 onion
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 large Bocconcini
- 1/2 cup grated Grana Padano cheese
- 2 and 1/2 table spoons extra virgin cold pressed olive oil
- salt, pepper
- In a sauté pan put 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and heat, add onions, garlic, peppers, sauté till soft.
- Add pureed tomatoes or if you want you can break up the tomatoes with your hands. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer on low heat for 20 minutes.
- While sauce is cooking bring to boil a large pot of water. Add penne pasta, cook about 11 minutes.
- Drain the pasta and toss in tomato sauce.
- In a 9″x9″ baking dish place a layer of pasta, sprinkle with grana padano, cut up mozzarella into small pieces and sprinkle on top of pasta.
- Put another layer of pasta and cheeses.
- Keep doing this till completed. Drizzle olive oil on top.
- Preheat oven to 400°F and cook till cheese is melted and edges of pasta start to crisp.
- Serve hot.
- Serving Size: 4 portions