Pasta Al Forno - My Italian version of 'Mac and Cheese' Recipe

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'Pasta al forno' is not only a real staple in Italian cuisine, it's incredibly versatile.
Use whatever is leftover from the vegetable drawer and sauté it with a boozy splash ;o)

For a dedicated post...refer here:

Servings: 8


Cost per serving $0.00 view details
  • . > (American / Metric measures) <
  • . 1 pkg. (500g) uncooked pasta: small 'Penne'
  • . > VEGETABLE mix: (suggestion):
  • . 4 Tbsps. (60ml) in total: e.v.Olive Oil and butter
  • . 1 large sweet onion, finely chopped
  • . 1 large bell pepper, finely chopped
  • . 1 large garlic clove, finely minced
  • . 4 cups (300g) cremini mushroom, thinly sliced
  • . half a medium size red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • . 2 Tbsps. (30ml) fortified Sherry wine
  • . >Seasoning:
  • . 2 tsp. (10ml) each: sea salt, granulated garlic powder
  • . 1 tsp. (5ml) each: basil, marjoram, tarragon
  • . 2 small cans (~400ml) of crushed Italian tomato or prepared tomato sauce (750ml)
  • . 2 cups (500ml) milk (2% fat)
  • . 1 can -12oz.(370ml) evaporated milk
  • . 4 Tbsps. (60ml) unsalted butter
  • . 4 Tbsps. (60ml) all-purpose flour
  • . 1 tsp. (5ml) each: sea salt, granulated garlic powder
  • . 1 Tbsps. (15ml) Dijon mustard
  • . 2 Tbsps. (30ml) fortified Sherry wine
  • . Cheeses: 2 cups (160g) worth...grated and packed: half the amount in Friulano (mild cheese), a generous portion of Parmesan, and smaller amounts in both Cheddar and Romano


  1. . Prepare a large pot of water and have it simmer while preparing the rest of the parts.
  2. . > Vegetable mix: In a large skillet, prepare the vegetable mix. Caramelize the onions well before adding the rest of all the ingredients. Cook for 10 minutes and close the heat.
  3. . > Cheese Sauce: In a medium-large saucepan...melt the butter on medium heat until bubbly. Whisk in the flour until smooth and cook the 'roux' until a light nutty aroma is realized without having it brown. Incorporate a very small quantity of milk at first. Whisk to smoothen the 'roux' and then very gradually add the rest of the milk and increase the heat to medium-high. Add the salt, granulated garlic, mustard and Sherry while whisking. Once a gentle rolling boil appears and the milk starts slowly rising on the sides, it's ready for the next step. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the cheeses together until smooth. Note: Keep whisking once and a while to avoid a crust from forming.
  4. . MEANWHILE...bring the pasta water to a boil. Add some salt and cook the pasta very 'Al Dente'.
  5. . Pre-heat oven to 350F/180C/Gas4. Lightly oil the baking dish. Position the rack in the center of the oven.
  6. . >ASSEMBLY: Strain the pasta and put it back into the pot. Combine it to the vegetable mix. Finally, pour and combine the cheese sauce as well. Transfer the whole preparation into the pan and cover with a parchment paper along with an aluminium foil (this prevents from losing valuable cheese).
  7. . Bake for an initial 15 minutes before uncovering. Afterwards, bake for an extra 15 minutes until bubbling and the top has lightly browned. Once the dish is out of the oven, let it rest for about 10 minutes before serving. Buon appetito.
  8. . Happy cooking from Claudia's


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Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving %DV
Serving Size 0g
Recipe makes 8 servings
Calories 0  
Calories from Fat 0 0%
Total Fat 0.0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0.0g 0%
Trans Fat 0.0g  
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 0mg 0%
Potassium 0mg 0%
Total Carbs 0.0g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0.0g 0%
Sugars 0.0g 0%
Protein 0.0g 0%
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