Baked Pasta Dishes
Crusty Baked Shells & Cauliflower
Even sauteed cauliflower feels decadant in this cheesy-crunchy baked pasta from Ina Garten. Be careful not to overcook your pasta, as it will continue to cook in the oven.
Baked Rigatoni with Milk-Braised Pork, Ricotta and Lemon
At Pasquale Jones in Manhattan, chefs Ryan Hardy and Tim Caspare team up to make dishes like this sumptuous baked pasta. Key to it is the tender milk-braised pork and its cooking liquid, which is pureed to form the sauce for the rigatoni. They pair this rich pasta with 2013 Circa Saint-Joseph from J.L. Chave Selctions.
Pork-and-Ricotta-Stuffed Jumbo Shells
Food & Wine's Justin Chapple amps up the filling in stuffed shells by including ground pork. Make sure to use your favorite prepared tomato sauce here.
Baked Rigatoni with Broccoli, Green Olives and Pancetta
Instead of using tomato sauce, Hugh Acheson makes his version of baked ziti with intensely sweet roasted tomatoes.
Baked Macaroni with Mortadella and Mozzarella
Chef Paul Kahan ramps up this comforting Italian take on mac and cheese with fresh mozzarella, mortadella, eggs and a rich pork ragù.
Cheesy Baked Pasta with Sweet Potatoes and Radicchio
This indulgent recipe, adapted from star chef Suzanne Goin's 2013 A.O.C. Cookbook, combines thick, tubular torchio pasta with a cheesy sauce, sweet potato chunks, radicchio slices, pecans and even more cheese.
Baked Penne with Sausage and Creamy Ricotta
This hearty pasta dish is studded with chunks of Italian sausage and mixed with a quick garlic-infused tomato sauce. It’s then topped with dollops of fresh ricotta and a sprinkling of both mozzarella and Parmigiano-Reggiano, which form a cheesy layer as the pasta bakes.
Baked Rigatoni with Spinach, Ricotta, and Fontina
A quick take on spinach and ricotta cannelloni, this baked pasta is fast because there’s nothing to stuff. The filling is simply tossed with cooked rigatoni that’s then topped with fontina and baked to a golden brown.
Creamy Tuna Noodle Cazuela
Jarred piquillo peppers and imported canned tuna from Spain add an Iberian twist to the classic American tuna casserole, making it more elegant but keeping it as simple and quick as the original.
Three-Cheese Baked Pasta with Porcini and Radicchio
Baked Ziti with Pesto
This boldly flavored dish needs a rustic red wine to stand up to it. A Salice Salentino from the south of Italy or a Corbières or Cahors from France will serve well.
Baked Four-Cheese Spaghetti
Marc Murphy grew up eating this intensely cheesy baked spaghetti. “When I was young, we lived in Genoa, where spaghetti is the pasta of choice. This is my mother’s version of macaroni and cheese,” he says. To add a smooth honey note, Lombardo selects a Labouré-Roi St. Armand Mâcon-Villages Blanc.
Fresh spinach ravioli are a clever shortcut for making lasagna: Each ravioli is already a mini layer of pasta, cheese and vegetable. This recipe is especially fast to make using pre-roasted or grilled vegetables from the deli counter.
Grant's Mac and Cheese
You would expect Grant Achatz’s macaroni and cheese to have some chef tricks, but it doesn’t. He uses a white sauce, elbow macaroni and cheddar cheese, just like the rest of us. His personal touch: a tablespoon of paprika (to enhance the color of the sauce) and lots of smoky, crisp bacon bits.
Lasagna-Style Baked Pennette with Meat Sauce
This hearty, meaty baked pasta is Tom Valenti’s ultimate make-ahead meal. “It’s actually better the next day,” he says. “I always make more than I think we’ll need—and we always eat all of it.”
Baked Shells with Pesto, Mozzarella, and Meat Sauce
Here’s a true crowd pleaser: pasta shells in a simple sauce of ground beef, tomatoes, and pesto, layered with mozzarella and Parmesan and baked until bubbly. Fusilli or orecchiette would work well here, too.
No need to roast fresh pumpkin for this dish (although you certainly could); using canned unseasoned pumpkin puree is much quicker, and it works just fine. Like most lasagnes, this one is easier to cut if left to set for ten minutes or so before serving.
Leek Mac and Cheese
Cooks usually reserve dark, tough leek greens for stock. Here, Grace Parisi sautés them until they’re soft and supple, then folds them into a luscious macaroni and cheese made with nutty Manchego.
Baked Orecchiette with Pork Sugo
In Italian cuisine, a sugo is a gravy or sauce. Here, Ethan Stowell prepares a pork sugo by braising pork shoulder until it almost falls apart, shredding it in a food processor and mixing it with a red-wine-and-tomato sauce; then he bakes it with orecchiette under a topping of Parmigiano cheese until crispy. The dish is an excellent alternative to the usual baked pasta, because it’s not as heavy and cheesy but still delicious and satisfying.
F&W’s editors tested three different Bolognese-style lasagnas with creamy béchamel sauce before deciding that the definitive lasagna had to have tomato sauce, chunks of meat, shredded mozzarella and creamy ricotta cheese.
Baked Rigatoni with Mushrooms and Prosciutto
Unlike most pasta dishes, which are best served immediately, this baked rigatoni is perfect for preparing ahead and heating just before serving. To make this recipe for 12, double it and bake it in two 9-by-13-inch baking dishes.
Parmigiano-Crusted Rigatoni with Cauliflower and Prosciutto
Melissa Rubel Jacobson uses a few great shortcuts to make her creamy baked pasta. She starts by boiling the cauliflower and rigatoni together in one pot. Then, for a quick and supercrispy topping, she sprinkles the dish with Parmigiano-panko crumbs and broils it. The topping browns perfectly in only two minutes.
Cheesy Mixed Pasta Casserole with Mushrooms
F&W’s Melissa Rubel Jacobson created this recipe to use up extra dried mushrooms and odds and ends of pasta. While the different pasta shapes cook at different rates in the water, they all become tender once baked.
Ziti, Eggplant, and Fontina Gratin
Eggplant is sautéed in olive oil until it’s creamy soft and then tossed with pasta and cheese. A quick stint under the broiler melts the fontina and browns the top.
Marja Vongerichten’s take on this comfort food classic includes four cheeses, from creamy Monterey Jack to extra-sharp cheddar. The most unusual touch: the cubes of cream cheese that melt on top.
Celery Root and Mushroom Lasagna
Served over pasta, this deconstructed take on Eggplant Parmesan swaps the usual fried eggplant for a sautéed version. Whole-wheat pasta can be used for more fiber.
White Lasagna Cupcakes
Do lasagna cupcakes sound like a great idea or just plain wrong? Either way, they’re part of a savory cupcake trend—but feel free to call them mini lasagnas, too.
Free-Form Sausage-and-Three-Cheese Lasagna
This gooey lasagna is packed with cheese and sausage. It’s called free-form because the pasta can be arranged in different ways—for instance, folded over the filling—instead of traditionally layered.
Custardy Baked Orzo with Spinach, Bacon and Feta
Few Americans eat pasta for breakfast, but this Greek-inspired recipe with orzo, leeks and bacon aims to make a few converts.
Greek Baked Pasta
The moist and fragrant casserole pastitsio combines béchamel (a sauce of butter, flour and milk), pasta, ground lamb, tomato sauce, cheese, cinnamon and nutmeg. Instead of béchamel, Grace Parisi stirs a ricotta mixture into the pasta before baking it.
Sweet Noodle Kugel with Dried Cherries
Noodle kugel is a traditional Jewish recipe served for dessert or as a side dish. Although it’s made with cottage cheese, it develops a custardy texture as it bakes slowly in a ceramic dish. Here, Grace Parisi uses corn flakes and pecans to make a crunchy topping.