Photo Credit: Elizabeth Newman
Imagine this: a one pan pasta dish where the noodles don’t even have to be boiled. And no, we’re not talking about lasagna!
Many years ago, when Giada and Aunt Raffy were traveling through Italy, they visited a town called Formia, a coastal commune halfway between Rome and Naples. While there, they tried this dish: Pasta Alla Formiana. The biggest surprise of this dish? The pasta doesn’t need to be boiled before baking. Yup – it goes into the oven raw!
We’ve seen many one-pot pastas in the past that don’t require the noodles to be separately boiled before integrating with the sauce – and while these recipes have gone viral all over the internet, they’re generally met with a lot of suspicion. There is a correct way to cook pasta, after all, right?
Turns out, while there are many rules we all know about Italian cuisine, it’s in Italy itself where those rules are so often broken. (Ever heard about never breaking your pasta into smaller pieces, for example? Turns out, they do that in Italy, too!)
The same goes for this Pasta Alla Formiana – this is a case where the rules can be broken, because if the result is this delicious, then why not?
The recipe starts off with layering slices of large, ripe tomatoes all around the bottom and edges of a baking pan. Next, fill it up with a flavorful mix of blended crushed tomatoes, olive oil, garlic and seasoning – this is the delicious flavor that your pasta is going to soak up.
When picking your pasta, it’s best to choose a smaller shape – like penne, fusilli, or nodi marini (we used Eliche Grandi for our most recent attempt!). A smaller shape ensures that the pasta will cook fully while in the oven. Sprinkle it into the tomato mixture, and make sure it’s evenly coated with liquid.
The last step of making this recipe is to simply cover the pasta with more tomato slices, and give it a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. That’s it! Set it and forget it in the oven for a half hour, and you’ll ahve a comforting, bubbly and flavorful pasta awaiting you. Hitting it under the broiler for just a minute or two will give you some beautifully charred tomato edges, too.
Bonus: this one pan pasta is totally vegan! Make it for company coming over to ensure there’s something for everyone to enjoy.