Nonna Maria's Pasta Al Forno (Pasta in the Oven)

Annamaria Settanni McDonald


If my mom wasn't making some kind of pasta laddled with sauce, it was Pasta al Forno, which simply means, Pasta in the Oven. It was my favorite and my dad's too, who may I add worked at a company called Miceli's Dairy. My dad always had access to the freshest cheese and ricotta. Sometimes still warm brought home. He worked there just days after coming here from Italy and retired from the company, this family owned business was like an extended family to us. When my father passed, they took real good care of us and was always there for my dad because he was such a hard committed worker. With that in mind, I would beg every Sunday for my mom to make this dish! Always done in a 11x14 pan, but I made it smaller. I think she always thought she was feeding an Army. I can't duplicate her sauce even though I make my own, but I did find a pretty close Italian sauce called MIDS when I need a sauce quick. It's so good and close to an authentic homemade Italian sauce. I use it when I don't want to make my own sauce. And yes I still beg my mom to make this dish and from time to time we think to go to the factory where my dad worked to get the cheese, if not we buy their cheese at the grocery store. So this dish is my thanks to my Mom, Dad and Miceli's Dairy!


★★★★★ 2 votes

40 Min
25 Min


  • 1 lb
    ziti, penne or rigatoni pasta
  • 2 Tbsp
    extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2
    medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2
  • 1/4
  • 26 oz
    mids meat sauce or your favorite sauce or homemade
  • 1 lb
    ground cooked beef mixed in to sauce. (optional)
  • 15 oz
    ricotta cheese
  • 7 slice
    deli ham, chopped
  • 4
    hard boiled eggs, chopped in chunks not finely
  • 1 c
    shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 c
    grated romano and parmesan cheese mixed

  • 2 c
    shredded mozzarella

How to Make Nonna Maria's Pasta Al Forno (Pasta in the Oven)


  1. Cook pasta noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Place olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Saute onion until softened, about 5 minutes. Brown beef. Add pasta sauce, reduce heat to low and stir in noodles.
  3. Place ricotta, mozzarella, ham, parmesan, salt and pepper into a large bowl. Stir until well combined.
  4. Place ½ pasta into a 9×13 inch baking dish. Spoon ricotta mixture evenly over pasta, covering entire dish. Sprinkle chopped eggs patting them down. Pour remaining pasta over cheese, then sprinkle with shredded mozzarella.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Printable Recipe Card

About Nonna Maria's Pasta Al Forno (Pasta in the Oven)

Course/Dish: Beef Pasta
Regional Style: Italian
Other Tag: Quick & Easy

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