Baked Pasta with Tomatoes and Parmesan
In this method adapted from Giuilano Bugialli's "Classic Techniques of Italian Cooking," dry pasta such as penne or rigatoni bakes with fresh or canned tomatoes. The result: Deeply flavorful, tender, authentic Italian pasta destined to become a favorite.
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 1 pound rigatoni, or penne pasta
- 2 (28-ounce) cans, whole tomatoes, crushed, or 4 pounds very ripe summer tomatoes, cored and sliced 1/2 inch thick
- Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place oil in a large bowl. Add dry pasta and stir until well coated; let stand for 20 minutes.
Add tomatoes to pasta mixture; season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Transfer to a 2 1/2-quart baking dish. Cover with a parchment-lined aluminum foil. Bake, stirring every 5 minutes with a wooden spoon, for 45 minutes to 60 minutes. (If using fresh tomatoes, layer, alternating with the pasta mixture, beginning and ending with the tomatoes. And be sure to bake without stirring.)
Remove from oven, sprinkle with cheese, and stir to incorporate. Serve immediately.