Skip to Content

Cheesy Bolognese Pasta Bake

Cheesy Bolognese Pasta Bake

Cheesy Bolognese Pasta Bake

This recipe is a cheesy bolognese pasta bake that does not take long to make. It will give a satisfying result that your guests or family will love.

rigatoni pasta

The ingredients are really a little bit up to you. The recipe below has a few elements that we always like in our Bolognese sauce.

But you may wish to leave some out, or perhaps you would like to add some other ingredients.

easy pasta bake recipes

In any case, I decided to cook this last night. Because I already had most of the ingredients, most of which I needed to use up anyway.

I only need to buy some minced beef in order to make it. It is also another of those meals that you can make in advance and put into the oven when you need it, which makes it great when you have guests around for dinner.

penne pasta recipes
Cheesy Bolognese Pasta Bake

Sopranos Baked Ziti Recipe

The inspiration for this recipe came from the hit television series The Sopranos and the Ziti Al Forno (baked ziti) dish. The famous Sopranos baked ziti recipe. There were several references to ziti during the Sopranos series.

Ziti al forno played a significant role in the show’s culinary narrative. The dish was a favourite of the main character, Tony Soprano. It was frequently featured in scenes where the family gathered for meals.

One iconic moment involving ziti al forno was during a family dinner where Tony’s sister Janice made the dish for the first time, and it didn’t quite live up to Tony’s expectations.

The dish’s significance in the show’s plot highlighted the importance of family and tradition in Italian-American culture, as well as the importance of food as a way to bring people together.

But my inspiration came from the fact that Bobby Baccallieri’s wife Karen made a baked ziti which Bobby still had in his fridge a long time after her demise. This was pretty sad.

Baked Ziti with Rigatoni

I could not find any ziti pasta in Ireland so I used some Rigatoni.

Ziti is a smooth hollow pasta, making it a little different to the ridged rigatoni pasta, but it is otherwise pretty similar.

You could also use penne (also hollow and ridged) or any other type of short-tube pasta for this recipe. The point is that the chunky sauce gets trapped in the hollow pasta.

The recipe is based on a tasty bolognese sauce and includes a layered pasta bake with cheese layered into the pasta layers. 

I always think it is time to re-watch the entire Sopranos box set whenever I make this 😃. The theme music at the start is just sooooo brilliant.

We do so love Italian food (even though this recipe is an American/Italian invention).

ziti pasta bake dish Sopranos bolognese sauce recipe
Soprano’s Ziti

The good thing about using tubular pasta is that it retains the sauce nicely.

cheesy ziti rigatoni pasta dish spag bol

The ingredients below are enough to feed 4-6 people and to fit a 3-litre oven dish. Although I am sure Tony could have polished it off in one or two sittings (RIP James Gandolfini 😢).

I hope you enjoy trying this recipe and please give me some feedback at the bottom of the page in the comments section if you do!

How to make a Soprano’s baked Ziti

Save time producing tasty food for your family with Gav’s Weekly Meal Plan!

Just 19 US $!!

weekly meal plans, gav's kitchen products, meal prep
cheesy bolognese pasta bake

Cheesy Bolognese Pasta Bake

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

This cheesy bolognese pasta bake is a great alternative to spaghetti bolognese. You can make up front and pop it in the oven before you want to eat.


  • 400g Rigatoni pasta (or ziti or penne)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 large onion
  • 6 x cherry vine tomatoes, halved
  • 75g button mushrooms, chopped
  • ½ yellow paprika, finely chopped
  • Can of chopped tomatoes
  • 200g tomato passata
  • 200g mozzarella cheese, sliced to give thin rounds
  • 150g cheddar cheese, sliced
  • Fresh basil leaves to suit
  • 300ml beef stock
  • 500g minced beef
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • A sprig of Rosemary, chopped finely
  • Parmesan, grated


  1. Boil a pan of water and then cook the pasta for 10 minutes, no longer. Remove from the heat, sieve and run under the cold tap to stop it cooking further. 
  2. Then fry the garlic and onion in the olive oil in a pan (I use my trusty wok) and when softened, set aside.
  3. Next brown the mince in the same pan. When browned all over, use a saucepan lid to help you pour off any excess oil from the frying. Then add the mushrooms, the tomatoes and the paprika to the pan. Fry for two minutes then add the garlic and onions back to the pan. 
  4. Then add the tin of tomatoes, the beef stock and rosemary. Stir and bring to the boil, then turn down heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. When the sauce is ready you can construct the meal. It is a bit like making a lasagne as you add the various bit in layers. Start by putting a layer of pasta on the bottom of your oven dish. Add a layer of the mince sauce. Then cover this layer with the mozzarella cheese and the cheddar cheese slices so that the meat sauce is covered. Add the basil on top of the cheese. Then add another layer of pasta and another final layer of meat sauce on top.
  6. Then sprinkle with grated parmesan over the entire dish.
  7. Cook in a pre-heated oven at 180C for 40 minutes.


Scoop into dishes and serve up with some tasty crusty Italian bread, it you can find some!

Feel free to add ricotta cheese instead of cheddar if you prefer.


Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 630Total Fat: 34gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 126mgSodium: 619mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 3gSugar: 6gProtein: 43g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

If you enjoyed this recipe you may want to try:

Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe
Classic Lasagna Recipe
Alfredo Chicken Lasagna, with spinach
Creamy Bacon Carbonara Recipe
Garlic Parmesan Pasta
Blue Cheese Pasta
Oil and Garlic Pasta (with prawns)

all Italian classics!

Or if you are into pasta bakes you may like these:

Bacon and leek pasta bake recipe
Chorizo and Chicken Pasta Bake
Chorizo Pasta Bake (with a Gruyère and Spinach Sauce)

Sharing is caring!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Skip to Recipe