Tomato, Basil and Cheese Baked Pasta

Recipe by ShortyBond
READY IN: 40mins




  • 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).