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Tomato, Basil and Cheese Baked Pasta


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  • 1 pound small shell pasta
  • 2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 large cloves garlic
  • 1/2 small to medium yellow onion
  • 1 28 ounce can crushed Italian tomatoes
  • 1/2 C, 10-12 fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces
  • 1 Cup store bought basil pesto sauce
  • 1 Cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 Cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 pound fresh mozzarella


Preparation time 30mins
Adapted from


Step 1

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt the water. Add pasta and cook to al dente.
2. Preheat a deep, large skillet over medium heat.
3. Chop the garlic and onion.
4. Add olive oil to pan. Add garlic. Chop onion and add to the oil. Cook, stirring frequently, five minutes until the onons are mushy and look cooked.
5. Add the tomatoes to the onions and stir. When they start to bubble, reduce the heat to low. Stir in basil pieces to wilt them. Season with salt and pepper.
6. Preheat broiler to high and place rack in the center of the oven.
7. Drain pasta. Add to a flameproof casserole dish. Add pesto sauce, ricotta and parmesan. Stir to coat the pasta. Pour tomato sauce over pasta. Scatter mozzerella cheese over pasta. Add a final sprinkle of parmesan to the mozzarella.
8. Place casserole under the broiler, 10-12 inches from the heat. Let the cheese melt and bubble on top, 3-5 minutes.

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