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Pasta Fagioli al Forno

The name of this Italian-inspired dish means "baked pasta with beans." But my busy family translates it as "super satisfying dinner." —Cindy Preller, Grayslake, Illinois
  • Total Time
    Prep: 35 min. Bake: 30 min.
  • Makes
    8 servings


  • 3 cups uncooked penne pasta (about 12 ounces)
  • 1 can (28 ounces) whole plum tomatoes
  • 1 pound bulk Italian sausage
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 1 celery rib, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley, divided
  • 2 cups shredded fontina or provolone cheese


  • Preheat oven to 350°. Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente; drain.
  • Meanwhile, drain tomatoes, reserving juices; coarsely chop tomatoes. In a 6-qt. stockpot, cook and crumble sausage with onion, carrot, celery and garlic over medium-high heat until no longer pink, 6-8 minutes; drain. Stir in tomato paste, seasonings, chopped tomatoes and reserved juices; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes.
  • Stir in beans and 1/4 cup each Parmesan cheese and parsley. Stir in pasta. Transfer to a greased 13x9-in. baking dish; sprinkle with fontina cheese and remaining Parmesan cheese.
  • Bake, covered, 20 minutes. Uncover; bake until cheese is melted, 10-15 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining parsley.
    Freeze option: Cool unbaked casserole; cover and freeze. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake casserole as directed, increasing time as necessary to heat through and for a thermometer inserted in center to read 165°.
Nutrition Facts
1 serving: 440 calories, 23g fat (10g saturated fat), 66mg cholesterol, 1029mg sodium, 37g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 6g fiber), 22g protein.

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Average Rating:
  • Kimberly
    Jul 2, 2020

    Five stars for a good basic recipe; I've been making different versions of this for years. It's a good comfort food.

  • Kimosaabe
    Jun 2, 2020

    Hey Elaine ... you have no credibility besides not even making the dish by following the recipe before criticizing it. Furthermore, Elaine is not an AUTHENTIC Italian there is that.

  • Tim
    Dec 26, 2019

    I decided to break the tradition of the Christmas Eve meal of the 7 fishes and make this instead. Although I still made a bunch of different seafood "apps", I may never stray from another main dish for this occasion again! This seemed simple and honestly, I didn't expect this dish to 'wow" my guests and family like it did. I used a good quality Hot Italian sausage and used a good Fontina cheese. I used San Marzano tomatoes as well. Good ingredients, makes good results! This dish is money in the bank!! It was absolutely awesome! I have a little left over and will warm it up and devour it after I finish writing this! I love a good Pasta Fagioli and wasn't expecting such perfection, but cannot wait to make this again!!

  • CharleneG
    Nov 12, 2019

    Loosely translated, Pasta e Fagioli al forno is Baked past and beans. That said, there is no "authentic" recipe really. It's whatever you have to add to the pot along with the pasta and beans. Pasta e Fagioli was another peasant dish like cacciatore, if you had something to add to the pot, then you did. Anything to feed your family and keep them full until the next meal. This recipe is a great take on that base meal. Thank you for submitting it! I can tell from the ingredients that it will be hearty!

  • Elaine
    Mar 4, 2018

    Not authentic! How do you cook Italian dishes not using real Italian sausage? True Pasta Fagioli does not use sausage.

  • jenruthomas
    Dec 29, 2017

    I won't rate it since I didn't follow the recipe exactly, but we loved this a base recipe. In order to cut down on cost, fat and calories, I used a half-pound of ground beef and added a generous amount of Italian seasoning, extra salt and a pinch of fennel seeds. I also used less Parmesan, and used Mozzarella in place of Provolone because it's what I had. It still has plenty of protein, with the beans, cheese and pasta, and it was very flavorful.I would note that the vegetables are still a bit on the crunchy side, so cook them longer if your family likes them soft.Also, I used chopped tomatoes instead of whole plum tomatoes (again, that's what I had on hand, but it also saved the step of cutting them up).

  • badkitty1116
    Dec 21, 2016

    This was so flavorful and delicious! Followed the ingredients and directions closely- used hot Italian sausage, added some red wine in while cooking the sausage and used a blend of Fontina, Mozzarella , and Parmesan for the top. I highly recommend this pasta bake- easy, yummy and a little different with the beans added in. I will make this often.