Pasta al Forno


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

Pasta al Forno
Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
1 hrs 15 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 35 mins
2 9x13-inch baking dishes


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, or as needed

  • 2 red onions, finely chopped

  • ½ pound ground beef, or more to taste

  • ½ pound bacon, chopped

  • ¼ cup white wine, or as needed

  • 2 (26 ounce) packages chopped tomatoes (such as Pomi®)

  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste

  • 4 tablespoons white sugar, or more to taste

  • salt to taste

  • 1 (16 ounce) package rotini pasta (such as Barilla®)

  • 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, or more to taste

  • pound chopped provolone cheese

  • pound chopped mozzarella cheese


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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 (per serving)

366 Calories
13g Fat
42g Carbs
19g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 12
Calories 366
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 13g 16%
Saturated Fat 6g 29%
Cholesterol 37mg 12%
Sodium 689mg 30%
Total Carbohydrate 42g 15%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Total Sugars 11g
Protein 19g
Vitamin C 14mg 68%
Calcium 273mg 21%
Iron 5mg 28%
Potassium 514mg 11%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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