This one was made with kids and schools in mind and easy to make on a weeknight! This recipe relies on the sauce to cook the pasta through. The tomato puree congeals ever so slightly, making it deliciously sweet and slightly caramelized. We paired it with our pipe rigate so the sauce would just nuzzle itself in the shell, providing a flavor explosion with every bite. Be careful not to burn the outer edges of the pasta — greasing the pan or covering the outside edge with tinfoil can prevent that.
It’s a cinch to adjust this for large amounts of pasta, without keeping an eye on everything the whole time. We suggest tasting around 30 minutes, to make sure you get it to your preferred texture – we like it al dente, but kids often enjoy a softer pasta.
No Boil Marinara Pasta Bake
Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis’ Pasta alla Formiana
Serves 6-8 as a main course.
- Butter or oil, for greasing dish
- 1 ½ – 2 (28-ounce) cans tomato puree
- 2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- ½ cup dried oregano
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 lb. short pasta (Community Grains Torchiette, Creste di Gallo, or Pipe Rigate)
- 1 lb. ground turkey (optional)
- 1/2 cup basil, sliced into ribbons (optional)
- Grated or shredded parmesan cheese for serving
- Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 425º F. Butter a large baking dish with steep sides (about 9 x 13 inch). Set aside.
- If using the meat, sautée in olive or vegetable oil over medium heat until cooked through, using a spatula to break up the large chunks.
- In a food processor, blend together the tomato purée, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Pour into a large bowl and add the uncooked pasta, oregano, and cooked turkey (if using). Toss until evenly combined and pasta is completely coated with sauce.
- Pour the pasta mixture into the baking dish and pat pasta down into the sauce. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake until pasta is cooked, about 35-40 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with freshly shaved or grated parmesan cheese and sliced basil. Optional: Cover with fresh mozzarella slices and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes before serving.