Things You'll Need
Casserole dish or Dutch or other covered oven
Pasta sauce or crushed canned tomatoes
Water, milk, stock or other liquid
Seasonings (such as dried basil or oregano)
Shredded cheese (such as mozzarella or Italian blend)
Few dishes come together as easily as pasta, but you can simplify the process even more with a one-pot meal you bake in the oven. When you combine sauce and uncooked pasta with other flavorful ingredients in a casserole dish or Dutch oven, the moisture from the sauce softens the pasta, allowing you to skip the step of boiling it on the stove. This preparation lends itself to improvisation, so add additional ingredients such as chopped cooked chicken and roasted vegetables to customize your meal.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Combine uncooked pasta, such as ziti, fusilli or penne, with sauce or tomatoes and water or other liquid in a Dutch oven or baking dish. Use 2 to 3 cups of sauce or tomatoes plus 1 to 2 cups water or other liquid per 12 ounces to 1 pound of pasta.
Season the sauce with dried herbs, chopped garlic or salt and pepper to taste. Add other ingredients such as chopped cooked chicken, chopped vegetables and/or shredded cheese as desired. Mix the contents of the dish to distribute everything evenly.
Cover the baking dish tightly with two layers of aluminum foil or put the lid on the Dutch oven.
Bake the pasta for about 45 minutes.
Remove the cover from the baking dish and stir the pasta. Top the dish with a sprinkling of breadcrumbs and Parmesan, if you want. Bake the dish for 10 more minutes or until the sauce is bubbling and the pasta cooked through.
Let the pasta cool for 10 minutes before you serve it.
Serve the pasta casserole with a fresh garden salad and some garlic bread.