Pasta Alla Formiana

If you’re like me, Monday’s are always the worst for dinner. Groceries are running low from the weekend and as dinner time approaches I’m always left thinking “what in the world am I going to make”. With very few ingredients and even less steps to prep, this casserole style pasta that’s packed with flavor is the answer to my Monday-night-dinner-blues. A layer of thin cut tomatoes lines the bottom, sides and top encasing tomato sauce, lots of oregano and pasta that cooks right in the oven! It doesn’t get much easier or much more delicious than this!

Start off by putting a rack in the center of your oven and preheating it to 450 degrees. Butter an 8″ x 8″ glass baking dish. Cut 4-5 very ripe beefsteak tomatoes into 1/3″ slices and line the bottom and sides of your baking dish with them. In a food processor, blend together a 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes and 3 cloves of garlic. Pour that into a mixing bowl and add 1/2 pound mezze penne, 1/3 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup oregano, 2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper. Toss until all the ingredients are coated and pour it into the baking dish. Arrange the remaining tomato slices in a layer on top of the pasta, overlapping to make sure it’s completely covered. This is important because you want to trap in the steam, that’s how the pasta will cook. Drizzle the top with olive oil and bake until the tomatoes are slightly crispy and the pasta is cooked, about 1 hour.

Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes before serving!