Baked Penne in Tomato-Basil Sauce Recipe

The key to this decadent baked pasta is al dente pasta robed in a blend of cheeses, breadcrumbs, and a rich and savory tomato sauce.
Photo by Farideh Sadeghin

Serves 6
Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 1 hour


¼ cup|60 ml olive oil
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon chile flakes
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 (28-ounce|793-gram) can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand 
4 tablespoons|52 grams unsalted butter
1 tablespoon sweet white miso
1 cup|14 grams fresh basil
8 ounces|225 grams penne rigate
1 pound|454 grams ricotta cheese
1 ½ cups|160 grams shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup|130 grams breadcrumbs
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley


  1. Heat the oven to 400°F. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for 3 minutes, then strain. Rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven over medium. Add the garlic and cook until it starts to dance, 1 to 2 minutes, then stir in the salt, chili flakes, and pepper. Add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer over low. Cook for 5 minutes, then stir in the butter and miso. Simmer for another 5 minutes, then turn off the heat, and, using an immersion blender, buzz the sauce until smooth. Add the basil and stir to wilt.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the ricotta, ½ cup|54 grams mozzarella, ½ cup|70 grams breadcrumbs, and the eggs. Add the cooked penne and combine until it is well mixed.
  4. Ladle half of the tomato-basil sauce into a 9-inch-by-13-inch baking dish, then add the pasta mixture and gently pat it into place in the dish. Cover with the rest of the tomato-basil sauce and top with the remaining mozzarella and breadcrumbs. Sprinkle with the dried oregano and fresh parsley, and drizzle with olive oil. Bake on the middle rack until the cheese and sauce are bubbling, about 40 minutes. Let it cool for a few when you pull it out of the oven and dig in.

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