I was sooooo excited when I got my Secret Recipe Club assignment for this month! I was assigned Manu's Menu and I have known Manuela, as a fellow food blogger, for several years now. She is such a sweetheart and makes the most amazing food!! Every time I see her recipes I instantly get hungry. Just looking at her Smoked Salmon and Vodka Risotto, Jasmine and Mango Panna Cotta Shooters, and Cappellacci with Sausage and Porcini, my mouth starts to water. But her Pasta al Forno was the one that put me over the edge! Hearty meat sauce, with a creamy Béchamel, and gooey cheese? Oh yessssssssss!!
I knew that Kevin would love it because he loves Italian food as much as I do, and we are both pasta fanatics. But I figured he would give me a little bit of grief over the fact that I was making a full batch. This recipe easily makes enough for 8 people, or 6 really hungry ones. However, his son just moved down the street from us with his girlfriend, so I knew there were people that would me more than happy to help us with all of the food. Plus, I love leftover pasta, don't you?
The day after Dylan picked up the leftovers I got a phone call, "Mom! That pasta you sent home with me was awesome!! Are you going to make it again soon?". Well I guess that settles that right? It is a keeper! I can guarantee you that this recipe will not fail to please. Simple ingredients, but sooooo full of flavor! I am keeping this recipe in the rotation for sure. Plus I know the kids will be happy to come help us eat it any time!!
1 year ago - Deviled Potato Salad
2 years ago - Chili Rellenos with Roasted Tomato Sauce
3 years ago - Mexican Lasagna
Pasta Bake - Pasta al Forno
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- 1 celery stalk, finely diced
- 1/3 cup red wine (I used a good balsamic vinegar)
- 1 28-ounce can of tomato puree
- Kosher salt
- Fresh cracked black pepper
- 1.5 cups milk, warmed
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- Fresh grated nutmeg
- 1 pound penne pasta
- 4 ounces provolone, chopped
- 4 ounces mozzarella/bocconcini, chopped
- 1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, finely grated
- For the Ragu’ Sauce, put the extra virgin olive oil, celery, carrot and onion in a big pot and sauté them for a few minutes, until the vegetables are soft.
- Add the ground beef, stir well breaking hte meat up with a wooden spoon. When the meat is nicely browned, add the wine (or balsamic vinegar) and cook off the alcohol by increasing the flame.
- Add the tomato purée, salt and pepper. Fill the tomato can up with water and add it to the pot. Lower the flame to medium-low, cover and simmer letting the sauce cook for at least 1 hour, or until thick. Keep aside.
- For the Béchamel Sauce, put the butter in a non stick pot and let it melt.
- Add the flour and whisk constantly until well incorporated. Let it cook for a minute or two.
- Add milk slowly, whisking continuously.
- Season with salt and nutmeg and continue to cook for 5 minutes or until it thickens. Cover to prevent a film from forming on the top.
- To assemble the dish, cook the pasta in salted boiling water according to package directions.
- Combine the cooked, drained pasta in the pot with the meat sauce, add the Béchamel Sauce and mix well.
- Add the chopped mozzarella, provolone and ⅔ of the grated Parmigiano Reggiano. Stir to combine.
- Pour into an oven dish and sprinkle the top with the remaining grated Parmigiano Reggiano and cover it with aluminium foil.
- Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, then uncover it and continue to bake for an additional 5 minutes.
Total time: 1 hrs. 35 mins.
Tags: beef, onion, carrot, celery, cheese, pasta, #SecretRecipeClub, Italian, Main Dishes, Budget Meals,