Baked Palermo Style Pasta Casserole
Most ingredients are available in Antonio’s Market!
2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 cup White Wine
5 tbsp Tomato Paste, Diluted with 1/4 cup Water
2 tbsp Butter, Cut into Bits
1 ea Onion, Peeled
1 ea Carrot, Peeled
2 ea Celery Stalks, Washed
1 1/2 cups Peas
1/2 cup Bread Crumbs
4 sprigs Parsley
1/2 lb Pork, Ground
1/2 lb Beef, Ground
2 ea Bay Leaves, Whole
1/2 tsp Ground Cloves
1 cup Pecorino Cheese
Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
1 lb Analletti (Small Ring-Shaped Dry Pasta)
For the Cream Sauce-
3 tbsp Butter
3 tbsp Flour
3 cups Milk
Grinding Black Pepper
Method of Preparation
1. Oil an 11 1/2 x 12inch deep casserole dish and coat it with 1/2 cup of toasted bread crumbs.
2. Set aside.
3. Finely mince together the onion, carrot, celery and parsley.
4. Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot.
5. Add the minced vegetables and cook for 4 to 5 minutes.
6. Add the meats and brown them.
7. Raise the heat to high and add the wine.
8. Let most of the wine evaporate.
9. Add the salt, pepper, bay leaf, cloves and tomato paste.
10. Cook, uncovered, over low heat for 30 minutes.
11. Add the peas.
12. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
13. For the cream sauce- melt the butter in a medium size saucepan and stir in the flour to make a paste.
14. Slowly add the milk and whisk until smooth.
15. Add pepper and nutmeg.
16. Combine the ragu and cream sauce and set aside.
17. Keep 1 cup separate to spoon on top of the casserole.
18. Cook the analletti until very al dente, do not overcook.
19. Drain the analletti and combine with the ragu and cream sauce mixture.
20. Transfer to the casserole dish and spread the remaining sauce on top.
21. Sprinkle with the cheese and dot with the butter.
22. Bake for 35 minutes, until the top is browned.
Tastes of Italia Magazine, February 2016 Issue www.tastesofitalia.com, Mary Ann Esposito “Ciao Italia”