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Nonna Susanna's recipe for meat sauce and pasta that is baked in the oven and great for using leftovers.


Recipe Summary

20 mins
1 hr 15 mins
1 hr 35 mins
2 9x13-inch baking dishes


Original recipe yields 12 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Heat olive oil in a skillet over low heat. Add onions and cook slowly until moisture has evaporated but onions are not dark brown, about 5 minutes. Add ground beef and bacon. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring frequently, until meat is browned and crumbly, 5 to 7 minutes.

  • Pour wine into the skillet and cook until evaporated, 1 to 3 minutes. Add chopped tomatoes and tomato paste. Fill tomato paste can with water and pour in. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook sauce, uncovered, until oil no longer appears on the surface, about 30 minutes. Add sugar and salt; cook and stir until dissolved, about 3 minutes more.

  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook the rotini pasta at a boil for about 5 minutes; drain and rinse with cold water. Return pasta to the pot and add a splash of olive oil to prevent sticking.

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease two 9x13-inch baking dishes.

  • Add about 1 cup sauce and 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese to the pot with the cooked pasta.

  • Spoon a thin layer of pasta into each prepared baking dish. Top each with a thin layer of provolone and mozzarella cheeses. Add sauce. Repeat layers with remaining pasta, cheeses, and sauce; finish with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

  • Bake in the preheated oven until hot and melted, 30 to 45 minutes.

Cook's Note:

Feel free to use any pasta shape you prefer.

You can substitute veal or pork for the ground beef, if you like. You can also add some chopped ham, salami, or other cooked meat when layering.

Nutrition Facts

366 calories; protein 19.2g; carbohydrates 41.8g; fat 12.5g; cholesterol 36.8mg; sodium 688.6mg. Full Nutrition