Quick Pasta al Forno

By • January 20, 2010 2 Comments

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Author Notes: As a kid, my favorite job when helping my mom make her Lasagne Bolognese was stirring the besciamella, and getting to lick the spoon when it was all done. This dish has all the flavors of traditional lasagna, but it’s much much quicker. Not much of a recipe, but it’s what we had for dinner tonight! If starting from scratch, make a good meat sauce, like Merrill's Weeknight Ragu, which you can find here in the archives. Also, double the rest of the ingredients and bake in a 9 x 13 pan, covered with foil for 20 minutes, then remove foil and continue baking until sauce is bubbly and Speck is crispy.mrslarkin


Serves 3

Besciamella Sauce

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 heaping tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • pinch fresh grated nutmeg
  1. Over medium heat, melt the butter in a small saucepan.
  2. Add the flour and stir with a spoon until bubbly. Don’t burn it! Lower heat if needed. You just want to cook some of the raw taste out of the flour.
  3. Stir in milk, salt and nutmeg. Continue stirring until thickened, about 5 minutes or so.


  • 4 cups leftover pasta with meat sauce (I used penne rigate)
  • 1 cup Bolognese sauce (like Merrill's Weeknight Ragu)
  • 2 cups Besciamella sauce
  • 1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, grated with a microplane
  • 4 slices speck (smoked prosciutto)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Lay some meat sauce in bottom of an 8” baking dish. Spread half of the pasta over sauce.
  3. Spread a few spoonfuls of meat sauce over pasta, followed by a layer of the besciamella and half of the Parmigiano.
  4. Add remaining pasta and repeat layers of meat sauce, besciamella and Parmigiano. Top with speck.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes, or until sauce bubbles nicely and speck is crispy. Let cool for 5 minutes or so.

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