Baked Pasta

Lasagna, pasta casseroles and stuffed shells all come to mind when we think of baked pasta, but just about any noodle can be cooked in the oven. We love this baked orecchiette with pork gravy and red wine-tomato sauce, topped with plenty of Parmesan and baked until it's crispy on top. This dish doesn't have a ton of cheese so it's a bit lighter than traditional baked pasta. If you love stuffed pastas like cannelloni, try this baked rigatoni—it comes together in no time at all. Cooked pasta gets tossed with a mixture of ricotta, Parmesan, nutmeg, fontina and spinach before it gets baked to golden brown perfection. Find a recipe for any occasion in F&W's guide to baked pasta.

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Crispy Rice Cake Lasagna
Rating: Unrated 2
For this creative take on lasagna, chewy, tender Korean rice cakes are coated with a spicy sauce of sweet Italian sausage, fennel seeds, crushed red pepper flakes, gochujang, ssamjang, and kimchi. A caramelized, bubbly, stringy provolone topping helps temper the heat. Find tubular Korean rice cakes, which are sold partially cooked and vacuum-sealed, in the freezer section at Korean markets or online. 
Lasagna with Mushroom Ragù and Prosciutto Cotto
Rating: Unrated 4
This 24-layered pasta masterpiece from Danielle Glantz, chef and owner of Pastaio Via Corta, a pasta shop in Gloucester, Massachusetts, consists of a hearty mushroom ragù made with both dried and fresh mushrooms; a creamy, onion-infused béchamel; and salty slices of prosciutto cotto, layered between handmade sheets of pasta. "The pasta sheets are like silk—it's something special to share with the people you care about most," says Glantz, who likes to spread this project recipe out rather than making everything at once. "I suggest spacing out the recipe over a couple days. Make the ragù, then make the béchamel, and the morning of, make the pasta." When rolling out the pasta, be sure to use flour very sparingly. If you use too much it can dry the dough out very quickly, and the dough will become very hard to work with. Be sure to let the lasagna rest for 30 minutes before cutting into it. The ragù and the béchamel can be made up to 3 days ahead, and the pasta can be made 1 day ahead.
Onion Béchamel
Instead of rushing through the béchamel for her epic lasagna, chef Danielle Glantz of Pastaio Via Corta opts for a long, slow simmer, allowing the rich, thick white sauce to become infused with the flavor of a halved onion that becomes meltingly tender as the sauce cooks and thickens. This rich sauce can be made a day ahead and refrigerated in airtight container; reheat slowly over low heat, adding a splash of water to loosen, if needed.
Baked Shells with Gremolata Breadcrumbs
Rating: Unrated 1
Macaroni and cheese is always a crowd-pleaser. This version features a combination of fontina for optimal gooey texture and cheddar for its tangy flavor, and a crispy mix of toasted panko, parsley, lemon, and garlic that cuts through the richness of the ultra-creamy baked shells.
Vegetarian Lasagna “Bolognese” with Plant-Based Meat
Rating: Unrated 1
This faux lasagna Bolognese delivers all the comforting flavors of the Italian classic, thanks to layers of richly seasoned plant-based meat and a quickly simmered marinara. Cheesy spinach and tender zucchini pack in even more vegetables, which get an extra umami boost from plenty of parmesan. If you’ve never cooked with plant-based meat before, trust your instincts and your eyes; it browns as it cooks, just like ground beef.
Kale-Artichoke Stuffed Shells
Rating: Unrated 11
Cannellini beans add hearty creaminess to these stuffed shells, while mild heat from Calabrian chiles and earthy sweetness from fennel seeds amp up jarred marinara sauce. Cook a few extra pasta shells to have on hand in case some tear during boiling.
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More Baked Pasta

Not Up for a Big Thanksgiving Turkey? Lasagna Is the Answer
Lasagna at Thanksgiving is a longtime Italian-American tradition. It just might become yours, too.
Turkey and Butternut Squash Lasagna with Crispy Sage
Each layer of this next-level lasagna leans on Thanksgiving leftovers in a smart way to bring big flavor to the table. Leftover sautéed mushrooms jazz up the creamy béchamel, while mashed butternut squash provides a smooth contrast to the hearty turkey filling flavored with leftover gravy and Parmesan, and pan-fried sage leaves add an elegant twist. “I love Thanksgiving leftovers, so I still want my leftovers dishes to embody those Thanksgiving flavors,” says chef Sara Grueneberg, who shared this recipe. “I call for roasted butternut squash, but if you make a great roasted sweet potato dish for the big event, those leftovers would be perfect in this lasagna.”
Après-Ski Lasagna
Rating: 4.5 stars 2

As we soar into Salt Lake City, Utah, my boyfriend Tom is looking through one of the plane’s tiny oval windows toward the snow-capped mountains, noting weather conditions in anticipation of a weekend shredding powder. Meanwhile, I’m checking for a Wi-Fi signal so I can find a grocery store where I can shop for our après-ski meals.Early spring ski trips with friends are kind of a thing for Tom and me. Tom and said friends are accomplished skiers. I am not. My strength in the group is serving as chef for the weekend. So before I strap into ski boots and ascend the mountain, I’m thinking about the details of the feast to follow. Last winter, in a cabin outside of Park City, Utah, I made an old-school lasagna that was such a hit everyone emailed me after the trip demanding the recipe.You’ll find no handmade pasta or béchamel sauce in this lasagna. When cooking in a remote locale, I take pleasure in such conveniences as a box of noodles and a can of tomatoes. And instead of that classic combination of ground beef, pork, and veal, I find that Italian sausage flavored with fennel seeds and other Italian seasonings makes up for the fact that I’m simply not going to buy several jars of dried herbs of unknown freshness at peak prices while on holiday. But fresh basil brings brightness, sliced mushrooms lend earthiness and toothsome texture, and ricotta delivers the creaminess between the layers.Since you’re eating Italian food in an alpine setting, what better wine to pair with this casual lasagna than an Alpine Italian red. These rustic wines typically have lively acidity and a medium body to play well with the richness of the dish. So check a bottle of Nebbiolo from Valle d’Aosta or Nerello Mascalese from Mount Etna.When cooking for famished friends in a kitchen of modest means, the key is to make hearty food that satisfies a crowd and can either be made ahead or pulled together quickly after a long day on the slopes. Build the lasagna the night before so all it needs is an hour or so in the oven while your crew showers up. (This is a great strategy not only for ski vacations, but for busy weeknights, too.) Then you’ll have a comforting meal that’s eaten in long johns and Wigwams, with full wine glasses, in front of a crackling fire.