MAMA ISA'S PASTA AL FORNO (Baked Pasta) - Recipe by Mama Isa
INGREDIENTS (serves 6 -7 people)
(Pasta al forno is traditionally considered a PRIMO PIATTO in Italy, but it's a meal in itself!!!)
500 g short, dried pasta (I only use Gragnano pasta which may take also 12-15 minutes to cook, tubular pastas like Rigatoni)
1 recipe of Mama Isa's Bolognese sauce (in Italian Ragù alla Bolognese)
1 recipe of Mama Isa's Béchamel sauce (in Italian Besciamella)
100 g grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese( aged 24 months) plus a bit more for topping
salt to taste
a few pats of unsalted butter
Cook the pasta in well salted water as you normally would (al dente) and drain the pasta into a colander.
Pour the drained pasta into a large bowl, add the meat sauce (Ragù Bolognese sauce) and mix well. Then add half of Béchamel sauce (if the bésciamelle is a bit dry or sticky, add some milk), add the grated Parmigiano Reggiano, and mix.
Take a large baking dish and pour a few pats of unsalted butter here and there and 4-5 spoonfuls of Béchamel. Pout the contents of the large bowl into a baking dish. Top with all the Béchamel and a few pats of butter here and there.
Taste and adjust for seasoning; the mixture should be quite savory.
Preheat the oven (200 °C).
Bake in a hot oven (200°C) for about 30 minutes, until the top is nicely golden - browned.
Let the dish rest at least 5 minutes before serving and if you like, add more Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese grated on the top.
TIP: Baked Pasta can also be made in advance and served for parties or on picnics