Pasta al Forno (Baked Ziti)

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This is my favorite way to eat Pasta al Forno. The addition of eggplant and béchamel gives it amazing flavor. This is one of those soul satisfying comfort dishes that never disappoints.

Pasta al Forno (Baked Ziti)

A delicious variation on Baked Ziti! This is my favorite way to eat it!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian


  • 2 28oz Cans of Whole Peeled Tomatoes
  • 1/4 Onion, diced
  • Fresh Basil to taste
  • 1 lb Ziti
  • 8 oz Mozzarella, shredded
  • 1 Eggplant, diced
  • 1/4 cup Grated Pecorino Romano


  • 1 1/4 cup Milk
  • 2 tbsp Unsatlted Butter
  • 2 tbsp AP Flour
  • Pinch of grated nutmeg
  • Salt & Pepper To Taste


  • To a large pot, add olive oil and diced onion. Saute until translucent.
  • Add pureed whole peeled tomatoes, season with salt, pepper and basil. Stir to combine. Bring it up to a boil and then lower it down to a simmer. Cook on low for 1 1/2 hours.
  • ***Optionally, you can braise pork ribs in the sauce for more flavor! To do this, add olive oil to the pot, sear the meat and remove from the pot. Then proceed with the instructions above. Once the sauce is simmering add the ribs back in.
  • Dice the eggplant. Add olive to a fry pan with a clove of garlic. Saute eggplant until golden and remove to plate lined with paper towel. This will soak up any excess oil.
  • To a small saucepan, melt butter, add flour and cook for a few mins. Add warm milk a little at a time, whisking all the while so no lumps form. Cook until thickened and set aside.
  • Boil a large pot of water. Add Salt and cook pasta to just before al dente. Drain and add the pasta back into the same pot. Add as much sauce as you like, Mozzarella, béchamel, grated cheese, eggplant. Give this a really good mix to coat all the pasta.
  • Into a 9×12 baking dish, add some sauce to the bottom, pour the pasta mixture in and then add some sauce on top. Grate some Pecorino Romano cheese on top.
  • Bake covered at 400F for 30 minutes. Turn the broiler on at the end to crisp the top if your desire!
Keyword baked pasta, baked ziti, Pasta, pasta al forno
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