Tomato, Basil, and Cheese Baked Pasta Rachael Ray

"This is a great family meal"
photo by a user photo by a user
Ready In:




  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt the water.
  • Add pasta and cook for a minute or two less time than package directions say.
  • The pasta will soak up more juice and keep on cooking after we drain it, so we need it to be a little undercooked.
  • The shells with probably cook for 9 or 10 minutes.
  • Preheat a big, deep skillet or a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  • Place garlic on a 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 separate the cloves form the skins.
  • Throw out the skins and chop up the garlic.
  • Remember to keep your fingers curled under and the edge of your knife tilted slightly away from your body.
  • Add evoo by pouring a slow stream of it twice around the pan.
  • This will be about 2 tablespoons, just enough to coat the bottom of the pan.
  • Do not let the oil pour out too fast; you want a slow, steady stream.
  • Add the garlic to the oil.
  • To chop the onion, cut the ends off and cut the whole onion down the center.
  • Wrap half and save it for another use.
  • Cut the other half into thin slices then turn the slices a quarter turn and chop them again.
  • Hold the tip of the knife on the cutting board and lift the back of the knife up and down over the onion to make the pieces really small.
  • Add the chopped-up onion to the garlic and oil.
  • Cook, stirring a lot, until the onions are mushy and look cooked, about 5 minutes.
  • 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.
  • Preheat the 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, ricotta cheese, and a handful of grated parmesan. S.
  • tir carefully and coat the hot pasta with the pesto and cheeses.
  • Pour the hot tomato and basil sauce over the pasta, as much as you like.
  • You can always serve a little extra at the table.
  • Scatter the mozzarella cheese over the pasta.
  • Add a final sprinkle of parmesan as well.
  • Place the casserole under the broiler in the middle of oven, 10 to 12 inches from the heat.
  • Let the cheese melt and bubble on top, 3 to 5 minutes.

Questions & Replies

Got a question? Share it with the community!


  1. Yummy pasta dish, although a little too much work for what you get. Actually my biggest problem with this recipe was not the food, but the shear number of directions....34 steps??? For instance: just say "minced garlic" in your Ingredients list, and don't tell us how to mince garlic step by step.
  2. I love this recipe. We usually make more sauce than the recipe calls for though so we have extra to dip the bread in.


I am SAHM to zoe5, Owen 2 and soon to be Liam in october. I love cooking for my family. When I was growing up, I remember home cooked meals and a clean house the best. That is what I am trying to pass down to my kids. I always love to expierment with new ideas.
View Full Profile

Find More Recipes