Pizza pasta bake is the combination of two family favorites. Stuffed with mozzarella, pepperoni, fresh basil and tomatoes, this pasta bake is a hit!
Pasta bake, Baked Ziti, Pasta Al Forno, whatever you call it, this dish is a beloved family favorite in our home. Not only is any kind of pasta covered in cheese and baked until golden and bubbling a sure hit, it also takes very little time to prep. This makes it the perfect family meal and great for nights when you want dinner on the table fast. It’s also perfect for making ahead and popping in the oven right before serving. Add a zesty salad or loaf of garlic bread and you have a meal your family will drool over.
How to make pizza pasta bake
To make the tomato sauce for the pizza pasta bake, sweat onions, garlic and oregano in olive oil until soft and translucent. Add a can of tomato puree, fresh basil and seasoning and allow to simmer. You can substitute the puree with chopped tomatoes and tomato paste or tomato passata as well. Allow the sauce to simmer for 10 minutes then add cooked pasta and sliced pepperoni/salami. Layer the pasta with grated mozzarella cheese and top with more mozzarella and pepperoni. Place in a hot oven and allow to bake until the cheese has melted then serve with fresh basil.
Can pasta bake be made in advance?
Pasta bake is one of the best recipes to make in advance. Simply assemble the dish and cover with foil. Keep in the fridge for up to 2 days before baking.
Can you freeze pasta bake?
Yes, you can freeze pasta bake. Assemble the dish and cover tightly with plastic wrap and foil before freezing. Pasta bake can be frozen for up to 3 months. Bake directly from frozen until hot throughout.
What to serve with pasta bake
- Easy side salad with lemon dressing
- Farmers market salad with buffalo mozzarella
- Easy garlic butter dinner rolls
- Kale Caesar salad
Pasta bake recipes
Pizza pasta bake
For the pizza pasta bake sauce
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves crushed
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 400 g (14 oz) tomato puree (alternatively use chopped tomatoes and a tablespoon of tomato paste)
- handful fresh basil leaves and stalks
- pinch of sugar
- salt and pepper to taste
For the pizza pasta bake
- 500 g (1lb) Fussili pasta (cooked + reserve 1 cup of cooking water)
- 100 g (3.5oz) pepperoni/salami
- 1-2 cups grated/shredded mozzarella cheese
- handful fresh basil leaves chopped
- Pre-heat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF.
- To make the sauce, sweat the onions, garlic and oregano in a few tablespoons of olive oil until soft and translucent.
- Add the tomatoes, basil (I use a medium bunch that I can remove from the sauce once cooked) and seasoning and allow to simmer for 5 minutes until slightly reduced. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
- Slice 3/4 of the pepperoni/salami (reserving a few slices for presentation).
- Add the cooked pasta (and stir in some of the reserved pasta cooking water). Add the sliced salami to the pasta with the sliced basil.
- Transfer half of the pasta to an oven-proof dish, add half of the cheese then the remainder of the pasta and cheese. Top with the rest of the pepperoni/salami and place in the oven to bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
- Remove from the oven, top with more basil and serve.