Recipe By Julian
Published Jun 19th
Prep 20m Cook 31m Additional - Ready In 51m
Servings 6 servings Calories 531.6

One of my favorite midweek pasta bakes – my whole family loves it and there is not much prep. Once the pasta bake is in the oven, you can make a salad or set the table and then it’s time to eat.

Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 (16 ounce) package penne pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 (6 ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ¾ cup heavy whipping cream
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pinch white sugar
  • 1 pound cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 ¼ cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 small bunch fresh basil, finely chopped

Cooking Directions

  1. 1 Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add penne and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender yet firm to the bite, about 11 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of cooking water.
  2. 2 Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and cook onion until soft and translucent while penne is cooking, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook an additional 30 seconds. Stir in tomato sauce and tomato paste and cook until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Add cream and Parmesan cheese and season with salt, pepper, and sugar.
  3. 3 Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease a baking dish.
  4. 4 Stir some pasta cooking water into the sauce and add cooked penne. Remove from heat and stir in cherry tomatoes, 1/2 the mozzarella cheese, and basil. Pour penne mixture into the prepared baking dish and cover with remaining mozzarella cheese.
  5. 5 Bake in the preheated oven until cheese is melted, about 20 minutes.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories 531.6
  • Carbohydrate 67.8 g
  • Cholesterol 61.7 mg
  • Fat 21.2 g
  • Fiber 5.3 g
  • Protein 21.4 g
  • Saturated Fat 11.1 g
  • Sodium 779.8 mg
  • Sugar 7.8 g


  1. Made this exactly as written except halved the recipe. There’s just 2 of us and it still made a lot. Unfortunately, it was very bland. So, I’ll be sticking with traditional baked ziti since we like more tomato taste which the cream takes away.
  3. I was trying to locate a meatless dish to serve during lent on Fridays and came upon this. It was awesome! My husband and I couldn't get enough of it. The addition of the grape tomatoes really made this dish. The freshness of the tomatoes really gave it a whole dimension of flavors as opposed - Read more ...
  4. Oh....YUM. Even as I was putting this in the oven I knew it would be our new favorite pasta bake. My only changes were to double the tomato paste and to add some (thawed) frozen spinach to up the nutritional aspect. My son and I were even looking forward to the leftovers!!
  5. I'm going to be making this for a crowd, so in a test run yesterday, I prepared the dish without cooking the pasta- I just added the extra cup of water and let it all get happy overnight. Baked it today for an hour at 375 and it was delicious. Pasta was perfectly done! So - Read more ...
  6. This is a great meal that can easily be heated for a later dinner. I put everything together in the morning, then put it in the fridge, skipping over the baking portion of the recipe. After when we got home for dinner, I heated it up for about 20 minutes, taking it straight out of - Read more ...
  7. Yummy, fast, easy, filling and pretty common ingredients. All pluses around here! I rarely have cherry tomatoes on hand so I used canned, diced tomatoes from my garden. I'm sure fresh would have a better flavor, but these worked just fine.
  8. This was delicious. Instead of penne pasta I used mini tortellini and I added a few shrimp and some mushrooms. This will be a regular at our house especially when the garden is gyiving a bumper crop of cherry tomatoes.
  9. This was super easy and super good! I modified the recipe a bit, though. I used one 15 oz can of tomato sauce and one 15 oz can of diced tomatoes. I couldn't find any fresh basil so I omitted that ingredient and it was just as good. I added dried parsley, granulated garlic, dried - Read more ...
  10. I really enjoyed this dish. It is quite flexible - I used a cheddar-mozzarella mix, and parsley instead of basil, as that is what I had on hand. You could also cut back on the amount of pasta, to reduce carb load, or if feeding fewer people.

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