Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Pasta Forno Siciliano - Sicilian Style Baked Pasta
So this dish is very easy to make and a great alternative to baked ziti or lasagna. It doesn't contain any ricotta but you could definitely add some if you like. I think this is a great recipe for entertaining since it's so pretty and makes a lot. Don't forget to use a beautiful dish - no aluminum for this recipe! I used my Al Fresco Server and I think it looks stunning! What do you think?
Pasta Forno Siciliano
2 pounds anelleti
1 pound mozzarella, shredded or cubed
Romano Cheese, grated
About 1 1/2 cups of frozen peas (use more or less or even leave it out)
2 cups seasoned breadcrumbs
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 recipe Mom's Meat Sauce (see recipe below)
1. Boil Pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until a few minutes short of al dente. The pasta will continue to cook in the oven and will not taste good if it's too soft.
2. Mix Pasta with half of the sauce and add more if necessary. It should be moist but not totally wet. (Use the rest for serving.) Add about 3/4 cup of Romano cheese and peas, toss to combine.
3. Heat butter and oil in a nonstick pan until butter is melted. Add breadcrumbs and approx 2/3 cup of cheese.
4. Add half of the breadcrumb mixture to your casserole dish (make sure it's a pretty one!) and then add half of the pasta. Sprinkle with mozzarella. Add the rest of the pasta and top with the rest of the mozzarella. Sprinkle the rest of the breadcrumb mixture to the top of the pasta.
5. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Allow pasta to settle before slicing. (I failed to do that and it fell apart a little but still tasted delicious!)
Mom's Meat Sauce
2 cans crushed tomatoes
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 lb ground beef
6-7 basil leaves
salt and pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp sugar
Brown ground beef in about 1 Tbsp of oil. Sprinkle with garlic powder, Mrs. Dash, salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Use a potato masher or wooden spoon to break up the meat so you don't have any large chunks. Drain oil from meat and set aside.
Saute onion and garlic in EVOO. Return meat to pot and add tomatoes. Swish water in the cans and add about ½ can of water or as needed so it’s not too thick. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add basil. Let cook for ½ hour, stirring occasionally so sauce does not burn. Taste again for seasoning. Add 1 tsp of sugar or a little more if needed. Allow sauce to cook for ½ hour more and taste again.
Click here for a printable recipe of Pasta Forno Siciliano.