When the nights are cool and the leaves are changing, or it’s downright cold and there’s snow outside, there’s nothing we crave more than a hearty pasta meal. But when we’re working, the kids are in school, and it starts getting dark out at, like, 4 PM, the last thing we want to do is spend hours making dinner (and more time afterward doing dishes). That’s why we’re kind of obsessed with one-pot meals. We’ve tried several varieties of one-pot pasta, but most of them are made on the stove top. So when Giada De Laurentiis shared a recipe for baked pasta alla formiana, a one-pot, no-boil pasta dish, we knew we had to try it.
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What we love about this recipe is that it’s authentically Italian. De Laurentiis said that her family learned about it when they were traveling through Italy years ago, and stopped in the small coastal town of Formiana, and enjoyed a baked pasta dish that required no separate boiling to cook the pasta.
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In fact, the only liquid found in the dish is olive oil (so use a good one) and the juices from a can of crushed tomatoes and thickly sliced Beefsteak tomatoes. That means the pasta is ultra-flavorful when it’s done, because instead of soaking up plain water, it’s been soaking up the sweet and tangy flavor of tomatoes.
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To make the recipe, you line a baking dish with tomato slices, pour over a sauce quickly made from crushed tomatoes, oil, and garlic, then add your pasta. Short pasta works best here – De Laurentiis uses Eliche Grande, but fusilli, radiatore, or even elbow macaroni would work well too.
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Cover that with more tomato slices, drizzle with olive oil, and bake for 30-40 minutes, and that’s it!
If you wanted to get a little fancy with it, you could add some cheese to the top and put it under the broiler for a few minutes until it’s melted and bubbly. Need protein? Add some cooked sliced sausage to the mix when you add your pasta. Basically, this dish is super flexible and can be adjusted for your family’s needs, and best of all, it’s all made in one pan.
Before you go, check out our gallery below:
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