Nothing brings friends and family together quite like a hearty Italian pasta dish - and this Pasta al Forno is certainly no exception! Combining layered baked pasta with the classic melanzane parmigiana (eggplant parm), this dish is the ultimate comfort food and is perfect for feeding a crowd at get-togethers or on special occasions.
A little while ago, our very own John Consiglio and his sister Chef Angela Consiglio were lucky enough to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon cooking with our friends Angela DeSalvo and Anna Romano from Nonna’s Way, whipping up this delectable Pasta al Forno recipe.
Consiglio's Kitchenware with Nonna's Way
A couple of weeks back, we had the opportunity to spend a Sunday with siblings, John and Angela Consiglio from Consiglio’s Kitchenware. We were interested in learning about a recipe handed down from their Nonna Angela, wife of their late Nonno John Consiglio who founded Consiglio’s Kitchenware in 1975. If you haven’t already visited their store, you gotta go. They have an amazing selection of kitchenware, cookware, and specialty food prep appliances to handle all of your cook and prepare-from-scratch needs! They are located at 41 Horner Ave, Etobicoke ON, M8Z 4X4 or you can order online and have your purchase shipped right to your door!
John Consiglio of consiglioskitchenware.com with
his sister Chef Angela Consiglio
What a bonus for us that Angela is a certified chef! She graduated with honours from the Culinary Management Program at George Brown College in 2011. Later in 2014, she obtained a Bachelor of Business in Hospitality Operations Management. Throughout our day together, she provided us with lots of tips and how-to’s that we are excited to share with you in upcoming posts. We took this opportunity to record her in action. She is a natural in front of the camera. We will be adding videos starring Angela periodically to our YouTube channel and you can also view them on Consiglio’s YouTube channel.
This dish was such a pleasant surprise. Every region of Italy seems to have a bit of a different twist to their recipes and this Barese pasta al forno was no exception. Tender and buttery melanzane, eggplant, is baked right into layers of penne, meatballs, sauce, mozzarella and Parmigiano cheese. Trust us when we say, you do not need to serve anything else with this very hearty dish.
Talk about comfort food! Think tender eggplant parm meets lasagna….can’t you just taste it? It is as delicious as it sounds!!
Pasta al forno means baked pasta. As mentioned, you will find many variations of pasta al forno using a variety of vegetables and meat, some use a traditional meat sauce while others also add in a béchamel sauce. You really can’t go wrong!
These all-in-one dishes make for a tasty and easy way to feed large gatherings such as holiday or birthday celebrations.
This is a go-to recipe in the Consiglio family, cherished and loved by young and old. Angela explained that this recipe is generations old as her great-grandmother would cook this back in their hometown in Italy.
It is a great dish to make together with family members, including kids! Although there are several steps to this recipe, the basic skills are quite simple. Start with preparing a basic tomato sauce so that it has time to cook, then prepare the homemade meatballs and roast them in the oven. Finally, bread and lightly fry the eggplant slices.
Angela admits organization is key and don’t forget to clean up as you go. See the video below on tips from Angela of how to make the breading of the eggplant easier and how to assemble the layers.
Hello,<br />I received my arrosticini/spiedini kit last week, and we used it the same evening. It was fantastic! I am so glad I bought it, it will be used ( and reused again and again!) this summer.<br />Thank you!<br />Suzanne