Like almost everything Italian, ragùs are very regional. While northern regions tend to prepare ragùs with ground meats from various animals, southern regions tend to use larger cuts and slowly braise them until they fall apart. Perhaps one of the world’s most popular ragùs, bolognese hails from Bologna, the historic capital of Emiglia-Romagna in northern Italy. Slowly cooked to develop depth of flavor and texture, bolognese has become a favorite for good reason. While it’s traditionally served with tagliatelle, enjoy this beautiful version stuffed into Paccheri and baked to deliver a show stopping pasta dinner. We recommend serving this with a bottle of Sangiovese.
▢ 1 box Paccheri
▢ 2-3 tbsp Forte Blend organic olive oil
▢ 1 yellow onion, minced
▢ 1 carrot, minced
▢ 1 celery stalk, minced
▢ 1 tsp Garlic Salt
▢ 1 tsp Dried Oregano Flowers
▢ 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
▢ 8 oz pancetta
▢ 1 lb ground beef
▢ 1/2 cup dry white wine
▢ 1 cup stock
▢ 2 cups Organic Passata
▢ 1 cup milk
▢ 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
▢ Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
▢ Fresh basil to serve
- Heat oil in a medium sized heavy bottomed pot.
- Cut the pancetta into small ½ inch pieces and place them in the pot with the onion, carrot and celery (soffritto). Sauté until the pancetta has rendered and the soffritto has softened. Add the ground beef and season with pepper, Garlic Salt and Oregano Flowers. Sauté until browned.
- Deglaze the pan with white wine and allow to reduce by half. Stir in the beef stock and Passata, reduce to a low simmer, and cover to cook for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
- After 1 ½ hours, stir in the milk and cook for another 2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Grease a 9-inch round spring pan and wrap it with tin foil to prevent leakage.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt generously.
- Cook the Paccheri until just al dente, roughly 8-9 minutes. Toss with 2 tbsp EVOO and cool enough to handle with your hands.
- Add 1-2 ladles full of bolognese into the bottom of the pan and spread it out evenly. Stand the cooked Paccheri on top of the sauce in the pan, placing them upright and packing them in as tightly as you can without fully closing them.
- Ladle the sauce over top, brushing as much of the sauce into the holes as you can. If you want to get more sauce into the individual noodles, you can use a smaller spoon to help stuff sauce into the holes. When you’re satisfied with the amount of sauce covering your Paccheri, sprinkle with mozzarella and freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.
- Cover Paccheri with tin foil. Be careful not to let the tin foil touch the cheese, you can always tent it if needed. Place the cake pan onto a baking sheet, and place the pan into the oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
- Remove the tin-foil and bake for another 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and rest for at least 20 minutes before running a knife around the side of the pan, then carefully release the spring pan and lift it from the Paccheri pie.
- Serve with freshly torn basil and extra grated Parmigiano-Reggiano if desired.