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Baked Pasta with Marinara and Bechamel

Penne al Forno
You might have made or seen lots of baked (al Forno) pasta recipes but this one is very special recipe from my kitchen. My little secret is home made white sauce and no cheese topping. Creamy white sauce made with just flour, butter and milk makes this pasta so creamy and delicious.

I usually layer some cooked ground meat or chopped spinach for some extra layers of favor but today's recipe is simply - baked Pasta with Marinara and Bechamel.
Pairing Ideas:

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Penne al Forno

Penne al Forno
Total Time Prep Time Cook Time Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lbs Pasta  (Penne Pasta)
  • 3 Cup Marinara Sauce  (or your favorite tomato sauce)
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil  
  • 2 tbsp Basil  (chopped)
  • 1 Cup Breadcrumbs  
  • 3 tbsp Unsalted Butter  (2 tbsp for bechamel and 1 tbsp for breadcrumb crisp topping (use more if you prefer))
  • 2 Cup Milk  
  • 3 tbsp All-Purpose Flour  
  • 1/2 tsp Salt and Black Pepper  
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg  (grated)
  • 2 Garlic  (Optional - cloves of garlic, fine chopped)

Directions

Hide Step Photos
  • 1. Make Bechamel - Heat milk in a pot and remove from heat. In an another heavy bottom sauce pan, cook flour with 2 tbsp butter till flour is cooked but not brown, add warm milk slowly and keep whisking so that flour does not form lumps in milk. Keep stirring until milk is thick and leaves a smooth, thin coating on spoon (about 20 minutes). Season with salt and pepper to taste and 1/4 tsp of nutmeg. Yields about 1 & 1/4 Cup
  • 2. Cook Pasta - Start oven to preheat at 375 F. Bring a pot of water to boil, add salt and cook pasta 2 minutes less than time mentioned on the pasta package cooking directions (I cook it for 6 minutes).
  • Step for Recipe - Penne al Forno
    3. Start layering the pasta in a deep baking dish. Mix chopped basil, chopped garlic (if using) and oilve oil in the marinara. Start with a small scoop of marinara sauce at the bottom.
    Additional Notes
    I have used individual baking pan for this recipe, but you can use a 9'' pan to make pasta al Forno.
    Step for Recipe - Penne al Forno
    4. Top it with layer of cooked pasta.
  • Step for Recipe - Penne al Forno
    5. Top it with white sauce (Bechamel), then repeat layers of marinara, penne pasta and bechamel two times or until all marinara and white sauce have been consumed.
    Step for Recipe - Penne al Forno
    6. Top it with bread crumbs and melted 1 tbsp butter.
  • Step for Recipe - Penne al Forno
    7. Bake on oven middle rack for 20 minutes. Serve with a glass of Shardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon

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2 comment(s)

  1. Your recipes making me hungry and its not even 12 yet.
  2. beautiful pictures!!!