Al forno, being Italian, sounds like something exotic and romantic. It translates to something quite plain: baked. But don't let the lack of “eccitazione” in the words fool you: this meal has thrills that will surprise you. Crisp, salty prosciutto mixes with zucchini, shallot, marinara, and rigatoni. This delicious mixture is then topped with rich, creamy mozzarella and… al forno. You'll also “al forno” garlic bread, serving as the perfect side to a meal full of rich deliciousness in every bite. No fancy Italian needed for that!
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You Will Need
Medium Oven-Safe Casserole Dish
Before You Cook
Cook Pasta and Crisp Prosciutto
Once water is boiling, add pasta and cook until al dente, 11-13 minutes.
Reserve ¼ cup pasta cooking water. Drain pasta in a colander. Set aside. Reserve pot; no need to wipe clean.
While pasta cooks, place prosciutto on prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Roast in hot oven until crisp, 8-10 minutes.
Transfer prosciutto to a plate. When cool enough to touch, break into small pieces. Replace foil on baking sheet.
While prosciutto crisps, prepare ingredients.
Prepare the Ingredients
Trim zucchini ends, halve lengthwise, and cut into ½” half-moons.
Peel and mince shallot.
Make the Sauce
Return pot used to cook pasta to medium heat and add 2 tsp. olive oil. Add zucchini to hot pot and cook until slightly tender, 3-4 minutes.
Add shallot and stir occasionally, 3 minutes.
Add ¼ cup reserved pasta water, marinara, and prosciutto (reserve a pinch for garnish). Bring to a simmer and stir occasionally until slightly thickened, 4-5 minutes.
Stir in pasta.
Bake the Pasta
Transfer pasta and sauce to prepared casserole dish and top with mozzarella.
Bake until cheese is melted and bubbly, 12-14 minutes.
While pasta bakes, make garlic bread.
Make the Garlic Bread
Halve French roll, if necessary. Combine 1 Tbsp. olive oil and garlic in a mixing bowl.
Place roll on prepared baking sheet, cut side up and spread on garlic-olive oil mixture. Bake until golden brown, 6-9 minutes.
Serve family-style, garnishing pasta with reserved prosciutto. Bon appétit!
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