Pasta al Forno (AKA fancy pasta bake)

 Ok, let's cut the crap - CLICK HERE to download a PDF printable of this recipe to keep - Enjoy, Marylin xxx 


So as many of you have seen over on my socials, this is one of my many pasta dishes. I’m sure many Nonnas will look at this with their hands waving in the air doing the sign of the cross but seriously Nonnas no one cares because my whole family, especially my kids lick the plate so we’re gonna roll with this recipe ok! So for all you people wanting to make a gourmet pasta bake that is easy AND has some hidden veggies for these kids then this is your dish.


  • 500g Large pasta shells or large pasta tubes
  • 500g pork and veal mince
  • 700ml passata
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 medium carrot, finely diced
  • 2 medium celery stalks, finely diced
  • 150g white button mushrooms, finely diced
  • 1 large brown onion, finely diced
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, roughly torn
  • 2 tbsp fresh oregano
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • S&P
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 1 cup grated parmesan or pecorino

Breadcrumb Mix (this is totally optional)

  • 1/2 cup regular breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated pecorino or parmesan cheese (I prefer pecorino)
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup of mixed fresh parsley & thyme, roughly chopped



  1. In a deep, heavy based pot on medium low heat olive oil; add onion and cook until translucent. Add garlic and stir until fragrant. Turn heat up to medium high heat and add mince and brown, breaking mince up.
  2. Once meat browned, add carrots, celery, bay leaves, mushrooms and stir. Add passata, water, fresh herbs and season to taste. Turn heat down to low with lid on a simmer for approx. 45-60 min until veggies soft.
  3. Preheat oven to 200 degrees
  4. Boil salted water in a separate pot and cook pasta according to instructions. Once cooked drain and add to sauce and stir until coated
  5. Transfer pasta to an oven lasagne tray. Sprinkle shredded mozzarella and parmesan/pecorino. If you decide on making the breadcrumb mix I would first sprinkle the shredded mozzarella and then place an even layer the breadcrumb mix on top.
  6. Bake uncovered for approx. 15-20 min or until surface is golden. Once taken out allow to rest for 10-15 min and then serve.


Enjoy people! Serve with a nice green salad and I won’t say no to a side of garlic bread to wipe all that sauce off the plate.

If you make this or any of my recipes, I would love to see your creations so please share and tag me over on IG @lovenestgifts

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