I make many "versions" of this baked pasta dish...
here is the recipe for the one I made for my mom's 50th birthday!!
2 T EVOO
3 large garlic cloves, minced
2 cans (14.5 oz ) Italian diced tomatoes
1 t Italian seasoning
1 T brown sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
3/4 oz fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
16 oz penne rigate pasta
15 oz ricotta cheese
12 oz fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
Preheat oven to 400°F. Place a large pot of water to boil to cook the pasta. While the water is coming to a boil, sauté the garlic with 2 T EVOO. Stir in tomatoes, brown sugar, and seasonings. Simmer 5-10 minutes then stir in basil and turn off heat. While sauce is simmering, add salt to boiling water and cook the pasta to just under al dente – it should have a nice bite left to it. Drain pasta and add ricotta cheese to the hot pasta pot. Mix in the tomato sauce and pour into large baking dish. Top with the fresh mozzarella and bake until top is brown and bubbly, about 15 minutes.