Pasta is a favorite among both children and adults. So no matter what you cook with pasta, it always becomes an instant hit. Usually we cook pasta either with a sauce or without any sauce but if you want to create something different and tasty with pasta, you should try to bake it.
This recipe is simply awesome as it uses a lot of different types of cheese, a delicious meat sauce, béchamel sauce and of course, some large ring pasta. So, go ahead and give this cheesy baked pasta recipe a try.
Difficulty Level: Easy
Servings Per Recipe: 6-7
Time Required For Preparation: 40-50 minutes
Time Required For Cooking: 30 minutes
Time Required For Baking: 35-45 minutes
2 large pots
1 stirring spoon
1 large plate
1 large bowl
1 wire whisk
112×10-inch baking pan or casserole dish
1lb. of uncooked penne or rigatoni pasta
½ cup of dried breadcrumbs
1 cup of mozzarella cheese, cut into small cubes
2/3rd cup of sausage
3 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley
1 large clove of garlic, minced
½ cup of provolone cheese, cut into small cubes
4 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
2 medium eggs
½ lb. of ground meat
3-4 tablespoons of cooking oil
4-5 basil leaves, chopped
4 cups of meat sauce
1 cup of parmiggiano reggiano cheese, grated
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
For The Béchamel Sauce
4 cups of whole milk, at room temperature
1/6th teaspoon of grated nutmeg
7 tablespoon of unsalted butter
A pinch of salt
1 cup of butter
For The Meat Sauce
1 large onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 lt. of tomato puree
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
6-7 fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
Method Of Cooking
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and then take a large pot. Fill up the pot with 3-4 cups of water and then place it on the hob. Turn the knob of the stove to light up the flame and then set it on medium high. Wait until the water comes to a boil and then put the uncooked pasta into the water. Cook the pasta until they are halfway cooked, making sure that they don’t turn mushy.
2. While the pasta is cooking, prepare the béchamel sauce. For that, take a saucepan and place it on the other hob. Then light up the flame and set it on low. Add the butter to the saucepan and wait for it to melt. Once the butter melts completely, remove the saucepan from the heat to prevent the butter from burning and then add the flour to it.
3. Mix the flour with the melted butter to form a roux and then add-in the milk. Stir the mixture to combine the roux completely with the milk. Once you get a smooth mixture, place back the saucepan on the heat and cook the sauce until it thickens up a bit. The sauce should remain a bit runny even after thickening it up. On ready, turn off the flame and let the sauce sit on the hob.
4. Next, take another pot and place it on the hob. Light up the flame below the pot and set it on medium. Then put 3-4 tablespoons of cooking oil into the pot and let it heat up. Once the oil starts smoking, add-in the onions and sauté them for 1-2 minutes or until they turn soft.
Next, add-in the minced garlic and sauté it for another 1 minute or until fragrant. Once done, pour the tomato puree over the sautéed onions and garlic and then give the mixture a good stir. Let the mixture cook on medium-high heat for 5-10 minutes or until it comes to a boil.
5. While the sauce is cooking, take the breadcrumbs, eggs, salt, chopped parsley, freshly ground black pepper, sausage and the ground meat in a large mixing bowl and then mix them up all together either with the help of a spoon or with your hands.
Once you get a nicely combined mixture, divide it into ½-inch sized pieces and then roll the pieces to form them into balls. Once you are ready forming all the balls, put them into the boiling sauce and let the sauce simmer on low flame for 25-30 minutes.
6. Once done, check the seasoning of the sauce and then add the rest of the chopped basil leaves to it. Stir the sauce to mix the seasonings and then turn off the stove. Now take another saucepan and fill it halfway up with water. Place the saucepan on medium low heat and let the water come to a boil.
While the water is coming to a boil, take the eggs and make a small hole on the top of each egg with a pin. This will prevent the eggs from cracking. Then let the eggs boil in water for 8 minutes. Once done, transfer the eggs to a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking process. Once the eggs are cooled, peel them and cut them into slices.
7. If you are ready with the pasta by now, drain it by putting it into a colander and then transfer the pasta into a large bowl. Now take the baking pan and pour 2 ladleful of the meat sauce into the pan. Spread the sauce into the entire pan and then add the remaining 3/4th part of the meat sauce to the half cooked pasta.
Toss the pasta to mix it with the sauce and then put half of the pasta mixture into the prepared baking pan. Spread the pasta evenly into the pan and then top it with half of the mozzarella cheese cubes, half of the provolone cheese cubes and half of the egg slices.
8. Next, spread 3/4th part of the béchamel sauce on the top and then repeat the same process of layering to create the second layer. For that, first spread the pasta, then put the remaining mozzarella cubes, egg slices and the provolone cheese cubes on top.
Follow that by spreading the remaining meat sauce and then the remaining béchamel sauce. Finally, sprinkle the parmiggiano reggiano cheese on top to finish the arrangement. Once done, insert the pan into the preheated oven to bake the pasta for 40-45 minutes or until the cheese on the top turns bubbly and golden brown in color.