Tomato, Basil and Cheese Baked Pasta

"Another Rachael Ray original!!"
photo by a user photo by a user
Ready In:




  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt the water. Add small shell pasta and cook the pasta to al dente doneness which means that the pasta will still have a bite to it or be a little chewy. Cook probably 9-10 minutes.
  • Preheat a deep, big skillet or a medium sauce pot over medium heat.
  • Place garlic on the cutting board and place the flat of your knife on top of each clove. Carefully give the garlic a whack with the palm of your hand to seperate the cloves from the skins. Throw out the skins and chop up the garlic.
  • Add EVOO to the pan by pouring a slow stream of it twice-around-the-pan. Do not let the oil pour out too fast. Add the garlic to the oil.
  • Chop onion finely. Add to garlic and oil. Cook, stirring frequently, five minutes or until onions are tender.
  • Add the tomatoes to the onions and stir. When the tomatoes come to a bubble, reduce the heat under the sauce to low.
  • Stir in basil pieces to wilt them. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to your taste.
  • Preheat your broiler to high and place a rack in the center of the oven.
  • Drain pasta shells. Add them to a casserole dish.
  • Add pesto sauce, 1 cup ricotta cheese and a handful of grated parmigiano.
  • Stir carefully and coat the hot pasta with the pesto and cheeses.
  • Pour the hot tomato and basil sauce over the pasta.
  • Shred up mozzarella and scatter over the pasta. Add a final sprinkle of parimigiano to the mozarella as well.
  • Place the casserole under the broiler in the middle of oven, 10-12 inches from the heat. Let the cheese melt and bubble on top (3-5 minutes).

Questions & Replies

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  1. This was great. Easy, flavorful, and used up leftovers! Thanks for sharing! Will def. make again...
  2. A nice, tasty, filling meal. I boiled my pasta for 5 minutes and then once the pasta bake was assembled I cooked everything in the oven for 30 minutes. Used Jubes Recipe #222384 for the pesto.
  3. I made this a few months ago after seeing the recipe on the Food Network website. Wonderful flavor! Thanks for posting.
  4. Mmmm...I knew when I first read the list of ingredients for this recipe it was going to be a hit. I made as directed but baked in two dishes, I left one as is and to the other I added some poached shredded chicken breast (for the meat loving man in my life :)A hit with the whole family. Thanks for sharing :)


I grew up in Dallas, TX, and lived in Summerville, SC, a town right outside of Charleston, for a while. I am now living back in TX, in Hallsville, right outside of Longview. I am a strong Christian and I love the LORD with all of my heart. I sing and play the piano, and I love cooking and baking.
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