Baked Ricotta Penne Pasta

Written by Diana - August 2, 2012 1 Comment

Baked Ricotta Penne Pasta  Bake

Penne is one of my favorite tubular pastas – the sauce seems to cling in and around the pasta better than some of the others while keeping the tube shape.  I love to cover it in a meat sauce and layer it with ricotta.  Since I was reviewing TJ Gallivan’s Pasta Sauces, I used La Matrice to make my Baked Ricotta Penne Pasta.

TJ Gallivan’s Sauces are great when you don’t have the time to make the sauce yourself.  They are full of tomato flavor – that’s something my kids and I noticed right away, how the tomato stood out.  The other big plus was how thick the sauce is and how well it clings to the pasta. I love a sauce that sticks.

TJ Gallivan's Pasta Sauces

The Tradizionale – is a sauce full of tomato, garlic, basil and oregano and is the mildest of the three sauces.  My daughter liked this because she thought it was customizable.  She could take the sauce plain, or if she wanted to punch up the basil a little more, she would add more basil and it wasn’t competing with any other spices.

La Matrice  – has a bit of zestiness to it with tomatoes, garlic, onions, peppers and herbs.  This was what I used in my Ricotta Penne Pasta Bake.  I like the sauce a little kick when I’m cooking with cheese, otherwise it can get too muted – so La Matrice was just perfect.

Arrabbiatta – If you like a bigger kick with a bit more spiciness, then Ariabatta is for you.  It still has a great tomato flavor, but it’s very spicy with tomato, basil, oregano, garlic and red pepper.  It’s a little more adventurous than the other two.


I used La Matrice in with the Penne Ricotta dish I made for dinner.  The sauce  was mixed in with ground beef and poured over the penne which it clung to nicely.  I nestled dollops of ricotta in between layers of penne and sauce and also on top before sprinkling grated parmesan over top.  The three of us ate almost the whole pound of penne I cooked up – it was so good, my husband had difficulty stopping.

The sauce was provided by a former Cookerati blogger – Buff otherwise known as Thomas Tilert who has moved on to his own entrepreneur buisiness of pasta sauce making, and the company does rubs and spice mixes as well. My review is my honest opinion and I recommend the sauce.  I interviewed Thomas Tilert about how he got started in the pasta sauce business.  If you are thinking of going into business yourself, it has some interesting information.

Here’s my Ricotta Penne Pasta Bake:

Baked Ricotta Penne Pasta
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This baked recipe with tomato sauce penne and ricotta, makes a really good hearty meal.
Recipe type: Pasta
Serves: 6
  • 1 lb ground beef (or bison)
  • 1 onion diced.
  • 2 green peppers diced
  • 1 lb Penne Pasta
  • 1 jar pasta sauce (I used TJ Gallivans, but you can use your own)
  • 1 container ricotta
  • grated parmesan
  • salt
  • pepper
  1. Cook ground beef, onions and peppers together until the beef is browned.
  2. Drain and set aside.
  3. Boil water and cook penne pasta according to package directions.
  4. Drain water.
  5. Add sauce to browned meat and stir to combine.
  6. Layer this way:
  7. Sauce
  8. Penne
  9. Sauce
  10. Dollops of Ricotta
  11. Grated Parmesan
  12. Penne
  13. Sauce
  14. Dollops of Ricotta
  15. Grated Parmesan
  16. Bake at 350 until the Sauce is hot and thick and the cheese is melty.
The pasta and the beef mixture can be prepared ahead, and assembled at the last minute. Don't pour the sauce over the pasta early or the pasta will absorb it



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  1. […] Part One – is our talk with Thomas Tilert co-owner of TJ Gallivans.  Part Two is our review of TJ Gallivans sauces and a Baked Ricotta Penne Pasta recipe. […]

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