Easily Prepared Baked Pasta Dishes

A nice pasta dish is an outstanding culinary staple of any dinner table, but often the amount of preparation and constant pot-watching has a tendency to intimidate once-interested chefs, resulting in them opting for the store-bought and frozen variants. If that sounds familiar, then look no further than the versatile, baked pasta dish, as provided by Martha Stewart’s cooking blog.

The benefits of a ceramic dish or large casserole container of baked pasta, such as lasagna, are plentiful. The fact that they fill up their cooking container makes them ideal for the average dinner entree that’s expected to be enjoyed by many at the next holiday party you’re hosting. Aside from absolutely satisfying any hearty appetites on the night of preparation, baked pasta dishes are also famous for reheating well in their second life as leftovers. With that being said, the full list of suggested baked pasta recipes can be found here, but here are some outstanding favorites of the bunch.

Squash Lasagna with Spinach

This recipe is perfect for those wanting a more vegetable-based lasagna, as it combines the textures and complimenting flavors of roasted kabocha squash, finely-tuned bechamel sauce, and a filling that is made up of the cheese trio that is fresh ricotta, gruyere, and parmesan. It’s sure to please anyone who tends to avoid baked pasta due to their tendency to “fill up” the stomach, and it’s tasty as can be!

Tuna-Noodle Casserole with Cauliflower

This is a dish straight from mom’s oven. The classic casserole recipe is made even better with the inclusion of wide noodles such as pappardelle, and the addition of cauliflower to the classic creamy consistency compliments the fresh parsley garnish in spectacular ways.

Baked Mac & Cheese with Broiled Tomatoes

The classic, last-minute supper dish that is mac and cheese is always a reliable crowd-pleaser. Though, you simply don’t have to only include the titular ingredients in the pot for it to impress. Make it ornate by following this guide to a stunning mac and cheese with a recipe that calls for an additional topping of cheese, panko breadcrumbs, and sliced roma tomatoes. By placing this spread atop a gorgeously prepared mac and cheese for additional time in the oven to achieve a golden-brown trim, it’s sure to impress the mac and cheese traditionalists at your table.

Salmon Noodle Casserole

Swap out the classic tuna casserole for a one-pot meal that packs in more protein with this recipe’s inclusion of salmon. This mouth-watering pasta dish is best-served with shortened pasta for its base, such as cavatappi, as it allows you to get a piece of the garnishes as well as the resident peas, dill, and scallions onto your fork alongside a small salmon bit. Not to mention, this is the ideal dish for any busy chef, as all the ingredients can be assembled a day ahead of time, leaving you with a quick primetime saver for that busy evening you surely have around the corner.

Spinach Manicotti in Creamy Tomato Sauce

While it’s traditionally reserved for those with more time on their hands due to its fine-tuned texture, nature, and flavor, the dish known as manicotti can also be versatile when you need it to be. For example, this less-of-a-hassle recipe takes advantage of the grocery store’s convenient staples of marinara sauce, frozen spinach, and manicotti shells to give you a dinner that can be prepped in under half an hour. Of course, if you find yourself with more time on your hands, you can substitute freshly cooked ingredients for the store-bought suggestions as well as substitute deveined shrimp for spinach if you need more protein.

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Six Pasta Recipes You Must Know

The tried and true champion of dinnertime is, predictably, the last-minute pasta dish, and if you can equip your mental cookbook arsenal with these traditional Italian pasta recipes from Martha Stewart, you’ll be the celebrated champion of the delicious, authentic, and classic pasta dish that wins over the entire dining room.

Now, you may be particularly familiar with how to cook up a plate of bolognese from scratch or you’re the type of shopper to pick up some seasoning, noodles, and a couple jars of sauce for a last-minute concoction. Either way, the following classic recipes should be known by every chef as they introduce variety and breadth to your cooking catalogue.

Pasta Carbonara

Let’s start small with “Old Reliable,” or Carbonara, a quick dinnertime staple that is made from 6 everyday ingredients.  Honestly, if you know how to boil water, you’re not too far away from the easily-accessible pasta recipe for carbonara, as you need only crisp some pancetta in a skillet and whisk together eggs and creme on the side while the pasta cooks in your expertly-boiled water. Once al dente, simply combine it all together, and add bacon or other pork product, such as guanciale for a truly italiana plate.

Cacio e Pepe

Keeping in line with the theme of easy preparation, a simple plate of pasta doesn’t necessarily have to be a Bolognese sauce or lasagna, because it honestly doesn’t get much simpler or back-to-basic than Cacio e Pepe. This pasta recipe hits your tongue in a delightful way, as it’s made with Grana Padano cheese, black pepper, olive oil, and just a touch of lemon. It’s the fantastically simple, completely irresistible, and quintessentially Roman dish that you’ve been craving to prepare, cook, and enjoy.


Hailing from the region of Puglia (or Apulia), Italy is this revolutionary cooking method of placing dried pasta in a skillet along with the other ingredients to gradually cook and infuse with its accompanying flavors. This ensures that your noodles get the most flavor and you don’t have to dirty half the dishes in your kitchen just to get an italian meal on the table. Top it all off with fresh basil and grated parmesan for an easy and clean-cooking supper.

Classic Lasagna

It’s truly a must-know recipe that has a variety of takes from different regions across Italy, Europe, and the world at large. This particular recipe showcases a hearty meat sauce made with ground beef and pork sausage, and that sauce is sandwiched between layers of noodles and a rich cheese filling. Additionally, if you’re looking for a little added variety, feel free to substitute the normal protein-laden faire with fresh greens and vegetables for a dish that is less filling and more fulfilling .

Penne alla Norma

Speaking of vegetables, try out this hearty vegetarian penne recipe that takes advantage of the natural flavors and textures of eggplant, tomato, and ricotta. This dish comes from the heart of Sicily, and it’s rumored to have been inspired by Sicilian composer, Vincenzo Bellini’s opera, “Norma.” This aesthetically-appealing dish pairs well with fresh basil sprinkled atop your dollop of ricotta cheese for a creamy consistency found with every stir.

Spaghetti with Sicilian Pesto

Jazz up your tired old spaghetti with pesto sauce, and this isn’t the usual Genoese pesto you may be all-too familiar with. This dish features a Sicilian take on pesto that uses toasted red pepper, fresh tomatoes, anchovies, capers, and golden raisins for a combination that is simply enlightened by its stacking of sweet, acidic, and savory flavors. The pignoli found in basil pesto are instead replaced with toasted almonds, though the Parmigiano is a constant across variants, making for a wonderfully flavorful dish.

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