Pasta al Forno
Pasta al Forno means ‘oven baked pasta’, and is one of those simple dishes that is perfect for a busy family. The best thing about this recipe is all the mixing and matching you can do with whatever ingredients you have on hand. Many traditional Italian pasta bake recipes include meat, eggs and dairy cheese - but this is a great opportunity to use seasonal vegetables, beans and plant-based alternatives.
SERVES 3-4 | 50 MINUTES
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
½ medium carrot, diced
1 cup cooked beans,such as cannellini
2 cups canned diced or crushed tomatoes
½ teaspoon salt
½ medium zucchini, diced
250g dried rigatoni, penne or fusilli
½ cup cashew parmesan or vegan parmesan
100g vegan mozzarella
olive oil for drizzling
In a medium saucepan, over a medium to high heat, fry the onion in the oil until softened. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, being careful not to brown. Add the carrot and beans and stir, sautéing for a couple of minutes. Stir through tomatoes and salt. Simmer on low for at least 15 minutes. In the last 5 minutes add the zucchini and cook until softened. Add a dash of water or extra tomatoes if the sauce becomes too dry.
While the sauce is simmering, cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until just shy of al dente. Drain.
Preheat a fan-forced oven to 200C.
Stir ¾ of the sauce through the cooked pasta. Fold through the parmesan, reserving a couple of tablespoons for garnish. Pour into a baking dish. Push chunks of the mozzarella into the pasta. Dollop over remaining sauce and sprinkle over the rest of the parmesan. Drizzle with a little olive oil.
Cover and bake in oven for 20 minutes. Remove the cover and cook for a further 10 minutes or until mozzarella is melted.