Best Italian Pasta Bake

Save it for later

Indulge in the ultimate comfort food experience with our Best Italian Pasta Bake recipe. Effortlessly bringing together ziti pasta, ground beef, and a medley of cheeses, olives, and succulent tomatoes, this dish is a celebration of flavors and textures. Whether for a cozy family dinner or a special gathering, this recipe promises a delightful culinary journey.

Can I Make This Pasta Bake with Ingredients I Already Have?

Absolutely! One of the joys of this recipe is its adaptability. You can often find the necessary ingredients, like pasta, ground beef, and cheese, right in your pantry. It’s the perfect go-to dish for impromptu gatherings or when you’re craving something deliciously comforting.

What Makes Fresh Tomatoes a Key Ingredient?

Fresh tomatoes are the heart of this recipe! They add a burst of juicy, vibrant flavor that canned tomatoes just can’t match. When layered with fresh basil, they elevate the dish, infusing each bite with the essence of Italian cuisine.

How Do I Perfectly Blend the Cheeses in the Bake?

The secret lies in the layering! Mix the cheese within the casserole and then add a generous sprinkle on top. Slightly mixing the top layer creates a beautifully bubbly and richly integrated cheesy experience that’s irresistible.

Is Pre-Cooking the Pasta Necessary?

Yes, pre-cooking the pasta is crucial. Using uncooked pasta could lead to it absorbing too much liquid, resulting in a dry bake. Cook it al dente to ensure it maintains a perfect texture after baking.

Should the Pasta Bake Be Covered While Baking?

No need to cover it. The moisture from the tomatoes and sauce is sufficient to cook the pasta bake to perfection, allowing the top to become appealingly golden and bubbly.

Can This Pasta Bake Be Prepared in Advance and Frozen?

Definitely! This pasta bake is ideal for freezing and can be prepared ahead of time. Just wrap it well and thaw it in the refrigerator before baking. This makes it a convenient choice for busy days or for sharing with friends and family.

The Best Italian Pasta Bake is more than just a dish; it’s a warm, inviting experience that brings people together. With its rich flavors, ease of preparation, and versatility, it’s sure to become a cherished recipe in your collection. So, tie on your apron, and let’s start cooking this Italian culinary delight!

Best Italian Pasta Bake Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • Ground Beef: 1 1/3 pounds
  • Onion, large, chopped: 1
  • Garlic Cloves, minced: 2
  • Spaghetti Sauce (Pomodero Fresco recommended): 1 jar (25 ounces)
  • Diced Tomatoes, undrained: 1 can (14-1/2 ounces)
  • Sliced Black Olives, drained: 1 can (3.8 ounces)
  • Italian Seasoning: 1 Tbsp.
  • Salt: 1 tsp
  • Delallo Penne Ziti Pasta, cooked and drained: 1 pound
  • Plum Tomatoes, sliced: 5
  • Parmesan Cheese, shredded: 1 cup
  • Mozzarella Cheese, part-skim, shredded: 2 cups
  • Fresh Basil, thinly sliced or chopped

Cooking Steps:

  1. Begin by cooking ground beef and onion in a large skillet over medium heat until the beef is no longer pink. Stir in garlic and cook for an additional minute. Drain excess grease.
  2. Mix in the spaghetti sauce, diced tomatoes, olives, Italian seasoning, and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat and let it simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.
  3. While simmering, preheat the oven to 350°F. Cook the pasta as per the package instructions and drain.
  4. Combine the pasta with the beef mixture. Add in sliced plum tomatoes and a cup of mozzarella cheese, blending them gently.
  5. Spray a 13×9 inch baking dish with cooking spray and transfer the pasta mixture into it. Top with the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, lightly mixing some into the bake and leaving the rest on top.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the dish is bubbly and thoroughly heated.
  7. Garnish with fresh basil before serving.

Save it for later

1 Comment

  1. Sharon Colburn

    Great recipes but it would be extremely helpful to be able to pin these recipes or at least print. Otherwise I don’t try them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *