Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Make Ahead Pasta Dish

My go to recipe when I need a make ahead pasta dish comes straight from Pasta (1994) American Express Publishing Corp, NY.  I almost always go to this meal when I need to make a dinner for a family in need. Unfortunately the double batch unfortunately here means that it was for two families at the same time. It has been a rough start to 2013 for many people.
Baked Rigatoni with Meat Sauce and Mozzarella
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 Tbs. butter
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot chopped fine
1 rib celery, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup chopped fresh flat parsley
2 Tbs. chopped fresh basil
1 lb. ground beef
1 tsp. ground fennel seed or 1½ tsp. whole seed
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
½ cup dry white wine
4 cups canned tomatoes with their juice, chopped
¾ lb. rigatoni
6 Tbs. grated Parmesan cheese
½ lb. grated mozzarella cheese (2 cups)
In a medium frying pan, heat the oil and butter over low heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, parsley and basil and cook until very soft, about 20 minutes. Raise the heat to moderate, add the ground beef, fennel seed, salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until the meat is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and cook until almost evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juice and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Stir in the parmesan. Cook the rigatoni in a large pot of boiling, salted water until almost done, about 12 minutes. Drain. Lightly oil a 3 qt. oval baking dish. Toss the past with the meat sauce and put half of it in the baking dish. Top with half the mozzarella. Cover with the remaining pasta and top with the remaining mozzarella. Bake at 350 until very hot, about 20 minutes.

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