There's something beautiful about a pan of baked pasta. It's hot. It's cheesy. And it has that crusty cap crowning the top of it, the accessory that mere bowls of pasta can't match. Before it gets too warm outside, tuck into one of these dishes -- dishes that double as a quick weeknight meal or a dinner-party showstopper. The leftovers (if there are any) will heat up perfectly the next day.
- For more simple, homey pasta dishes, check out our 9 Weeknight Pastas.
- Not in the mood for pasta? Try out our recipe for Eggplant Parmesan.
- Got a question in the kitchen? The Food52 Hotline is here to help!
I combined mac-and-cheese techniques by par-cooking the pasta, folding it together with a few cheeses, spreading it on a baking sheet, and finishing it in a 475-degree oven. The result was total success -- the muffin top of mac 'n cheese! - Amanda Get the recipe Photo: James Ransom
A truly unique take on baked pasta, this recipe requires a little faith, but not all that much work considering the results. If you have a well-seasoned crepe pan, this is the perfect excuse to put it to work. You just whiz the batter up in a blender, and then all you need to do is crank out 10 or so perfect crepes to roll around a simple mixture of ricotta, eggs, parsley and parmesan. Don't skimp on this or on the marinara sauce -- you'll be doing these delicate, creamy manicotti (and yourself) a huge disservice. - Amanda & Merrill Get the recipe Photo: Sarah Shatz
The most important part of the technique? You boil the pasta for barely five minutes, allowing the final blast in a flaming hot oven to cook it through to al dente and tinge the edges of the shells a lovely rich brown. - Merrill Get the recipe Photo: Sarah Shatz
This is shepherd's pie meets moussaka -- a lamb ragout spiced with cinnamon, oregano, sumac and mint is blended with penne and feta and then topped with a cayenne-scented bechamel. After baking in the oven -- we turned up the heat to 450 degrees for the final 10 minutes -- it emerges crisp on the perimeter with a thick toasted bechamel cap. A few tips: remember to salt the pasta water and you should undercook the pasta because it will continue cooking in the later baking stage. And when you add the tomato paste to the lamb, let it toast a bit before adding the water. - Amanda & Merrill Get the recipe Photo: Sarah Shatz
This is not your mother's tuna noodle casserole from the sixties! With some simple steps, fiveandspice takes this homey classic into a whole new league. It is hard to imagine how good this really tastes until you just make it. The butter, fresh mushrooms, shallot, fresh herbs, lemon zest and sherry contribute to this cast of characters to make stars out of tuna noodle. The garlic panko topping adds a dramatic finish. Brilliant. Bravo, fiveandspice! - Sagegreen Get the recipe Photo: Sarah Shatz
When I was younger, this was quite arguably my favorite part of Thanksgiving -- even though it didn't occur until a day later! And though I know the addition of nutmeg isn't original to my family, Lord bless whoever thought of that. I love the heavenly scent in the creamy sauce. These days I'm probably still just as much of a Pasta Pants as I ever was then, but try to make it a little lighter than the original -- even if only slightly! - QueenOfGreen Get the recipe Photo: Nicole Franzen
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