This Pasta Al Forno Is Incredible

Pasta al forno
image via Odelinde/Depositphotos

Indulge in the irresistible flavors of Italy with this wonderful pasta al forno recipe. Baked to perfection, this hearty dish combines pasta, a rich tomato sauce, creamy béchamel, and a golden layer of melted cheese. It’s a comforting and satisfying meal that will go down as a great winter treat.


  • 12 ounces of pasta of your choice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 pound of ground beef or plant-based meat alternative
  • 1 tin of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh basil or parsley for garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Cook the pasta according to package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped onions and minced garlic, sautéing until softened. Add ground beef or plant-based alternative, cooking until browned. Drain excess fat if needed. Stir in crushed tomatoes, dried oregano, dried basil, salt, pepper, and tomato paste. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. In a separate saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour, whisking to form a roux. Gradually add milk, whisking continuously until a smooth béchamel sauce forms. Combine the cooked pasta with the meat sauce. Transfer half to a baking dish.
  4. Pour half of the béchamel sauce over the pasta. Sprinkle with half of the mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Repeat with the remaining pasta, béchamel sauce, and cheeses.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top is golden and bubbly. Garnish with fresh basil or parsley before serving.