Paccheri Pasta Bake with meat sauce

Paccheri Pasta Bake with meat sauce

By 10/06/2015

"Pasta al forno oggi!" "Pasta bake today!" this was music to my ears as a little girl.

When I was small I used to wait in front of the oven and catch every whiff that would escape. My favourite was pasta filled with meat with lots of bechamel sauce.

You can use different pasta shapes, today I used paccheri  which is a large shaped pasta which looks like small cannelloni and are suitable to be filled and baked in the oven.

I have filled them with meat sauce (or "ragu'")  but you could also choose any filling of your choice of course. Ricotta and spinach is always a popular one. All you need to do is cook your pasta very al dente and then line it up standing up on a spring-form bake tin.  It will look almost like a cake! Fill them with your favourite filling with lots of delicious bechamel sauce and Parmesan cheese.

You cannot possibly go wrong with a dish like this. It is going to be delicious!

So...1...2...3... let's cook!


  • Prep Time : 45 minutes
  • Cook Time : 2h 00 min
  • Yield : 4



First let's make the meat sauce:

Chop finely the onion, celery and the carrot. In a pan stir fry the vegetables for a few minutes with 2 tbsp of olive oil.

Add the meat and seal it until brown in colour. Add the tomato sauce, 1 tbsp of chopped parsley and cook over a low heat for 1 hour and 30 minutes (check my step by step bolognese sauce recipe).  Add salt and pepper during the last 20 minutes of cooking.

meat sauce ragu'

Cook the paccheri in salty boiling water for half the time that it says on the packet.

cooking pasta

Drain and let them cool down over a tea-towel.

paccheri pasta

Let's make the bechamel sauce:

Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the flour and cook the mixture for just under a minute.

Add the milk slowly, a pinch of nutmeg, salt and pepper  stirring all the time to avoid lumps forming. Bring the mixture to the boil, always stirring and you will see that the mixture will begin to thicken and become glossy.

white sauce

Let it boil for 2 or 3 minutes and then add 3 tbsp of tomato sauce and stir.

Mix the meat sauce with half of the bechamel sauce and 3 tbsp of grated Parmesan. Grease with oil a springform round baking tin (measuring approx 22 cm or 8.6 inch diameter) or line it up with parchment paper. Pour a little bechamel sauce on the bottom.

bechamel sauce on the bottom of the mold

Fill your paccheri standing up on your baking dish and line them up close to each other.

filling pasta

Finish off by filling the holes in between the pasta with the remaining bechamel sauce.

filling holes with white sauce

Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese and a tbsp of chopped parsley.

sprinkling parmesan

Finally cook at 180C or 350 F for 25 minutes until golden.

paccheri pasta bake

Et voila'! Isn't this simply a wonderful "Sunday" treat? Love love love it!

paccheri pasta bake


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (41 votes, average: 3.27 out of 5)

52 Responses to Paccheri Pasta Bake with meat sauce

  1. speedy70

    Deliziosi questi paccheri… e anche tanto invitanti, bravissima!!!

  2. la cucina di Molly

    Mamma mia che meraviglia, il piatto della domenica per eccellenza! Mi piace tantissimo, è molto invitante, sei bravissima! Un abbraccio!

  3. gloria

    Che buono Alida. look delicious!
    Un abbraccio cara!!

  4. MeinCupcake

    Wow, that looks fantastic. I haven’t seen anything like that before. But looking at the beautiful pictures, I MUST try your recipe. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe and the instructions!

    Best wishes, Susan

    • Alida

      Thank you Susan!

      • Peter Buxton

        That looks really good. I already had a similar idea, except I’m going with a pork meat sauce that is very delicious.But, I’m going 50/50 with half ricotta, rocket and crushed pickled green pepper corns, for a little kick, and it cuts straight through the cheese wonderfully.

      • Alida

        Sounds interesting Peter. I love the idea of adding ricotta and rocket!

  5. Elisabetta

    I also remember waiting desperately for the tantalising scent of meat-filled cannelloni that mum would make for il pranzo della domenica. It just can’t be described and just the thought makes my mouth water. I recently bought a pack of paccheri so I’m going to fill them up as in this recipe on Sunday, thanks X.

    • Alida

      Fantastic! Enjoy!

  6. cheri

    This looks similar to a dish my mother-in-law prepared years ago, looks fabulous!

    • Alida

      Thank you Cheri.

  7. Linda

    Gorgeous presentation…..I want to make this for our guests. Thanks for sharing such a lovely recipe.

    • Alida

      Thank you Linda.

  8. Debbie Skerten

    Wow. I must try this. Looks a great centre and talking piece too, when guests come around. Thanks for posting x

    • Alida

      Thank you Debbie!

  9. kate

    Wow this looks so super yummy. I want to make this for the Holidays.

  10. Grainne

    This looks delicious!!! I bought some paccheri pasta not really knowing what to do with it. This is one of the plus sides of the internet! I am going to cook it tomorrow.

    • Alida

      Paccheri are also good with fish. I love the texture of this pasta! Enjoy your dish!

  11. Germana

    Una meraviglia questi paccheri. Un’idea brillante per il nNatale! Complimenti Alida!

  12. Claudia

    Ciaoooo.. arrivo direttamente dal blog di Chiara!!!! ma che bella presentazione dei paccheri.. davvero tanto buoni!!!!! bacioni e buon natale!!!!

    • Alida

      Grazie Claudia molto gentile! Buone feste anche a te!

  13. Silvia

    vengo qui dal blog di Chiara che ha parlato di te (la voglia matta) complimenti per il tuo blog e per questa ricetta, buon Natale!! Un abbraccio SILVIA

    • Alida

      Grazie Silvia per la tua visita. Buone feste anche a te!

  14. Diane

    Great recipe where about in kent do you live I live in the Medway towns but like to shop at Macnades in Faversham which is run by Italians and is where I buy my coffee

    • Alida

      I am from Tunbridge Wells. I don’t know Macnades but if I am in the area I will look for them.

  15. Fr@

    Ciao, piacere di conoscerti vengo dal blog di Chiara.
    Questo piatto oltre che buono è bello da vedere. Buon Natale.

    • Alida

      Grazie 1000 e buone feste anche a te!

  16. Chiara

    mi fa piacere che le mie amiche abbiano apprezzato il tuo blog, tantissimi auguri, a presto !

    • Alida

      Grazie a te Chiara. Ciao!

  17. eugenia

    Che presentazione strepitosa! Sono felice di conoscerti, Alida (arrivo su segnalazione di Chiara). Auguro a te e alla famiglia di passare un felice Natale.

    • Alida

      Un caro augurio anche a te Eugenia e grazie per la tua visita!

  18. Alida

    Grazie Laura molto gentile, ricambio gli auguri anche a te! Ciao!

  19. Roz | La Bella Vita Cucina

    Hi Alida,
    I love pasta prepared in this manner too, and need to try your recipe that is a little bit different than the one that I prepare. I like the idea of using the larger pasta noodles than I use so that more of the sauce can be stuffed inside!

    Great recipe and post! Happy new year!!!!


    • Alida

      Thanks Roz, this pasta seems to go well with meat and fish too. We have it quite often in our family. Buon anno nuovo!

  20. shauna McIntyre

    I tried this tonight and the family loved it! I might make more sauce next time as my red sauce ended up a bit dry. Fantastic, though – thank you!

    • Alida

      Thanks Shauna for trying the recipe, I am pleased you enjoyed it 🙂

  21. Shauna

    I love this dish because it’s one of few my children ask for over and over again! I started piping in the meat sauce with a pastry bag (with a wide opening) and that worked well. When we go up skiing next I’ll make the sauces beforehand and assemble bake on site. So yummy and unique!

    • Alida

      Thank you Shauna, I am really pleased you are enjoying this dish so much. That really makes me happy 🙂

  22. Melissa

    This dish looks great, can’t wait to try it tomorrow! One question- I don’t have the paccheri packet anymore, so how long do you think I should cook the pasta for?

    • Alida

      Paccheri usually take a little longer to cook: about 13 to 15 minutes. I would cook paccheri for 7 minutes in salty boiling water before filling them and put them in the oven.

  23. jane

    looks so good but wanted to print recipe and can’t! So sad!

    • Alida

      Hi Jane,
      At the end of the recipe there is a little button on the left hand side which allows you to print the recipe.

  24. Marisa Cassar

    hi Alida.
    I am from Malta 😉 The Paccheri are not very common here. We dont cook them much and one can find them only in supermarkets. However I received a packet as a Christmas present (in a hamper). I typed Paccheri recepie and discovered your site. Keep it up.I really like it and I will visit frequently. Thanks

    • Alida

      Hi Marisa, paccheri are great to be filled or to be served with a fish or meat sauce like normal pasta. I am pleased you like my site. Thank you 🙂

  25. Angela De Paolis

    This recipe looks great but does not tell how many persons it serves and if it is served as a snack of main dish?

    • Alida

      Hi Angela, this recipe serves 4 and it is definitely a main dish.

  26. Liz

    I made this! It was awesome. I love the blending of the meat sauce and the bechamel! Plus, it is the cutest thing I’ve ever made!

    • Alida

      Wonderful! I am very pleased 🙂

  27. Rachel Wright

    I just made this for my husband and myself and it was delicious! I bought paccheri at the store knowing I’d find a good use for it, and this was exactly what I was hoping for. We are both vegan, so I used vegan ground “beef”, vegan butter, vegan parmesan, and oat milk to sub. I also used jarred red sauce because we had some leftover that needed to be used up!

    I made sure to coat the outside of each noodle with sauce, too, so it didn’t dry out during the bake. I agree with Shauna that I might make more sauce next time and make it a bit more liquidy just to make the bake even juicier, but other than that, it was fantastic! There was something meditative about filling each of the noodles well with sauce. It took a bit of time but was relaxing all the while 🙂 Thanks for the delicious recipe!

    • Alida

      Dear Rachel, I am very pleased that you have enjoyed the recipe so much and you are right, there is something meditative and relaxing about filling the paccheri with the sauce!
      All the best xx

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