There’s nothing like a quick tasty pasta dish for busy nights. For times like this I often prefer something simple and hearty. This provolone pasta bake delivers on all these demands while lending a certain something special to the meal. By using sliced provolone instead of shredded cheddar we are actually adding a more complex flavor to the dish. And, it couldn’t be easier to throw together.
This recipe relies on a jar of pasta sauce, but to jazz it up a little and make it taste more homemade the trick is to sauté some onions and spices to add to the sauce. Once that’s done you combine the sauce with some al dente pasta. A stout, short pasta is what you want for this recipe- although it doesn’t matter which shape you choose.
For this meal bow ties, fusilli, penne, rigatoni, tortiglioni or shell pasta all work well.
Once the sauce and pasta have been combined pour the mixture into a casserole dish and then top with the provolone cheese. Given a choice I’ll always pick smoked provolone since it adds just a little bit more depth to my meals. Lay the slices out so they overlap and then top the whole thin off with some cherry tomatoes that have been cut in half.
Then just let the oven do the rest of the work and when it’s done you’ve got an ooey, gooey cheesy paste dish with a fresh burst of flavor from the cherry tomatoes.
It’s honestly one of the simplest, but best, baked pasta dishes you can make. Plus you an easily customize this recipe by adding some extra veggies or chicken or even some pepperoni into the mix. It’s so versatile!
Provolone Pasta Bake
15m prep time
1h 5m cook time
- 1 medium onion
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 (24 oz) jar pasta sauce
- 1 (12 oz) package dried short chunky pasta (like fusilli, penne, rigatoni, bowties)
- 1 (6 oz) package sliced provolone cheese
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- Preheat oven to 400˚F. Cook pasta to package directions minus 3 minutes. Drain pasta and set aside.
- Heat olive oil to medium low heat. Add in onions and cook until just turning translucent. Add in the garlic and spices and sauté for 2 minutes. Add pasta sauce and stir. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 4 minutes.
- Add pasta to sauce and stir well. Grease an 8”x12”x2” baking pan. Pour in pasta. Cover with provolone slices and cherry tomato halves. Bake covered for 40- 45 minutes. Top should be browned and cheese should be completely melted.
Recipe adapted from Cuisine Fiend.