Pasta al forno Siciliana recipe - Telegraph:
This mouth-watering recipe for a typical Sicilian Sunday lunch was passed on to the London-born food writer Tessa Kiros, who lives in Tuscany having travelled, and cooked, all around the world.
The recipe is very versatile, and it’s delicious warmed up later.
Eat it, as the Sicilians do, with a green salad.
3 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1.2kg (2lb 10oz) minced beef
1/2 tsp chopped oregano
1/2 tsp chopped thyme
1 bay leaf
250ml (9fl oz) red wine
500ml (17fl oz) tomato passata (puréed tomatoes)
200g (7oz) frozen peas
450g (1lb) rigatoni pasta
150g (5½oz) thinly sliced ham, torn up
250g (9oz) mozzarella, roughly chopped
About 4 tbsp grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a deep frying pan and sauté the onion until golden.
Add the garlic and sauté until it smells good, then add the minced beef.
Brown the beef over quite a high heat, stirring often to break up any lumps.
Stir in the oregano, thyme and bay leaf, and season with salt and pepper.
Stir through the wine and when that has been absorbed add the passata and 250ml (9fl oz) water.
Cover and simmer for an hour, stirring now and then.
It must be a lovely loose ragù, so add a little water towards the end of the cooking if necessary.
Toss in the peas and remove from the heat.
Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5.
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and cook the rigatoni for a couple of minutes less than the instructions on the packet. Drain.
Scoop a couple of ladlefuls of the ragù on to the bottom of 30 x 22 x 6cm (12 x 8½ x 2½in) baking dish.
Add half the pasta, pressing it along to level it.
Ladle over half the remaining ragù and top with all the ham.
Scatter half the mozzarella over, then follow with 2 tbsp of Parmesan.
Now add the rest of the pasta and press it down firmly.
Scrape out the rest of the ragù over the top.
Scatter the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan over.
Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until it is a bit crusty on top here and there, and golden around the edges.
Scoop out portions and serve with extra Parmesan.
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