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gjbingham 03-22-2008 10:17 PM

Pasta al forno
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One of my favorite dishes from Sicily. Really easy, but takes some simmer time.

Today, I made a variation of Lasagna. It worked out exceptionally well and was completely improvised after making a lasagna by the book last weekend.
I used:

1 LB Italian Sausage - browned and fat drained off.


1 LB Penne pasta
1 C. Mozzarella cheese
1/2 C. Parmesian cheese
1/2 - 1 C. Ricotta cheese

1 large onion, 1 big clove garlic sauteed in 1/4 cup EVOO till lightly golden. Add browned sausage, two 15 oz cans of diced tomatoes ( I used left over San Marzano type for 1/2 of this amount), and one can tomato sauce. 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp +/- pepper, a big pinch of Basil and Oregano. Simmer all for about 2 -3 hours with a lid on the pan. If too much water remains, remove the lid to reduce.

When the oven's at 425 degrees F, cook one Lb pasta about a minute short of al dente recommendation. Layer sauce, pasta, and 1/3rd of each cheese, then repeat with pasta, sauce, cheese.

Different from the lasagna, I cut sideways thin slices across the Mozzarella cheese for the topping (times 6) and garnished the top of the pasta with the cheese.

The oven was 425ish as the pasta went in. 35 - 40 minutes later - I ate till I couldn't manage another bite. Great stuff! Make sure to get plenty of cheese on top to brown/carmelize, and the pasta gets a nice crunchy texture on the exposed ends not covered with sauce. Highly recommended by carb-aholics everywhere.

Buon apettito!

Dutchoven 03-23-2008 05:53 PM

Re: Pasta al forno
We will have to refer to this one sometime...really looks great!

asudavew 03-23-2008 06:46 PM

Re: Pasta al forno
Dang that looks good!

I've been out of town all weekend, and you are posting recipes already?

Impressive Doc!

Gosh I'm hungry..... thanks George..

You a pizzaiolo now?

gjbingham 03-23-2008 06:59 PM

Re: Pasta al forno
Thanks Dave/Dutch. The cheese gets hard and crusty on top and gives a nice tasty crunch to a simple pasta dish. Definitely good eats!

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