This pasta bake uses pantry ingredients and uncooked pasta. Yes, really. You simply put the ingredients into a casserole, cover it with foil, and bake it. And hey, it’s really delicious too!
I didn’t believe it was possible either, but seriously, you can just mix the ingredients in the casserole, cover it, and bake it, without having to pre-boil the pasta. And it turns out amazing!
There are a few key things that you need to do though.
- Make sure that the pasta is completely submerged in liquid.
- Cover the casserole very tightly with foil. Use a double layer to make it even more air tight.
- After the pasta is finished in the oven, let it sit in the casserole on the counter uncovered for at least 15 minutes. This is because the sauce needs to absorb into the pasta and thicken a bit. Resting helps it to do this.
If you follow those instructions, you will have a delicious no-boil pasta dinner ready for you in no time.
One other thing, I call this a pantry pasta bake because almost all of the ingredients come from the pantry. The only one that doesn’t is the cheese. I’m sorry about that, but I just can’t have a pasta bake without cheese and as far as I know, there’s no such thing as canned cheese. I guess we could have gone with a jar or box of processed cheese (like queso or velveeta) but that just seemed wrong. You can totally try it though and let us know how it turned out!
I hope you love this pasta dinner as much as we all do! Have a tasty day,
- 8 oz. uncooked dried pasta shells
- 2 (15 oz.) cans cannellini or kidney beans, drained
- 1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes with the juice
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella, divided
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 2 cups evaporated milk*
- heavy duty aluminum foil
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a 2 and 1/2 to 3 quart shallow casserole dish with olive oil.
- To the casserole dish add the uncooked pasta, beans, diced tomatoes with their juice, 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper. Stir.
- Pour the evaporated milk over top and make sure that all of the pasta is submerged.
- Cover with two layers of aluminum foil and make sure it is very well sealed.
- Put it in the oven until the pasta is tender, 50-60 minutes. Remove from oven, take off the aluminum foil, and sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and the Parmesan.
- Return to oven uncovered and bake just until cheese has melted, 5 minutes.
- Important: Take the pasta out of the oven. Let the pasta rest on the counter uncovered for 15 minutes before serving. This is important as the sauce really thickens up in this time.
*When you mix together milk with something acidic like tomatoes and heat it up, sometimes it can curdle. I’ve found that the higher content of full-fat milk makes this less likely here, so do not use fat-free or 1% or 2% milk or evaporated milk. Use the regular evaporated milk or fresh whole milk. If it does curdle though, don’t worry about it. It is still completely safe to eat and is still completely delicious, it just looks like you added some ricotta to the dish before baking it!