Baked Pasta Casserole, Palermo-StyleClick to Play

Baked Pasta Casserole, Palermo-Style

Mary Ann Esposito

This extravagant dish is part of the culinary tradition of Palermo. For the Palermitani pasta is not a food to be enjoyed occasionally, it is a staple food that is a direct line to eating well to live. Anelletti are a typical Sicilian pasta form. Originally the timballo was an elaborate concoction first introduced by the Arab emirs in the 9th century. The ingredients varied all over the island but it became a dish that was totable for the Sicilians who took it on picnics. The classic ingredients are pasta, meat and vegetables. Many versions exist; some use eggplant instead of peas or zucchini. More elaborate concoctions also include chunks of salame, hard boiled eggs and primosale cheese. This is a dish to feed the masses, at least 12 so it is a good one for a party or a buffet dinner and can be made a day ahead and reheated.

Serves 12

Ingredients

1 onion
1 carrot
2 stalks celery
4 sprigs parsley
2 tablespoons Filippo Berio olive oil
1/2 pound ground pork
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
2 bay leaves
5 tablespoons tomato paste diluted in 1/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups peas
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup grated Pecorino or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
2 tablespoons butter cut into bits

Cream Sauce
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
3 cups milk
Grinding black pepper Grinding nutmeg

1 pound anelletti (small ring shaped pasta)

Directions

Oil an 11 1/ 2 x 2 inch deep casserole dish or Dutch oven and coat with 1/2 cup toasted bread crumbs.

Finely mince together the onion, carrot, celery and parsley.

Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot and cook the minced vegetables until mixture softens. Add the meats and brown them. Raise the heat to high and add the wine. Let most evaporate off. Add the salt, pepper, bay leaf, cloves, and tomato paste.

Cook uncovered over low heat for 30 minutes. Add the peas. Set aside.

Meanwhile make the cream sauce.  Melt the butter in a medium size saucepan and stir in the flour to make a paste. Slowly add the milk and whisk until smooth. Add pepper and nutmeg.

Combine the ragù and cream sauce and set aside. Keep 1 cup separate to spoon on top of the casserole.

Cook the anelletti until very al dente, about 7 minutes.  Do not over cook as they will cook in the oven again.

Drain and combine the anelletti with the ragù and cream sauce mixture.  Transfer to the casserole dish and spread the remaining sauce on top.  Sprinkle with the cheese and dot with butter.  Bake in a preheated 350°F oven until the top is nicely browned, about 35 minutes.

This recipe is featured on show 2310 - Taste of Sicily.

item recipe is featured in Episode 2310 of Season 23.

Want More Recipes? See My Latest Book:

Buy Ciao Italia Family Classics by Mary Ann EspositoCiao Italia Family Classics

Mary Ann returns to her family's humble beginnings to bring us a treasure trove of more than 200 time-honored recipes.

Buy it now from Amazon for just $24.00

Buy It From Amazon

A Testimonial From Mario Batali:

This collection epitomizes the tradition and love that goes into all of Mary Ann Esposito's cooking. Like her award-winning TV series, this book will live on for years with all of those who cook her delicious recipes. My kids love everything Mary Ann cooks!"

Comments

Leave a comment

  1. Valerie Stella's avatar

    Valerie Stella

    | Permalink
    I've seen Mary Ann on and off over the years, when I could find her. She is amazing, and she is the same as ever. She reminds me of my family, my mother and grandmothers. I grew up in New Jersey, but my ancestors are from outside of Bari. I live in Southern California now, and it isn't easy to find a lot of the ingredients that were readily available on the east coast. So I always feel really hungry and homesick after watching Mary Ann! But in a good way....
  2. Jim's avatar

    Jim

    | Permalink
    Just saw this - can't wait to try it!
  3. Rev. John Facci's avatar

    Rev. John Facci

    | Permalink
    I am looking for the receips from today's show Cio Italia September 13 Chicken - Polo
    Thank you
  4. daniel j dougherty's avatar

    daniel j dougherty

    | Permalink
    watched the show on baked pasta casserole and looking forward to making the dish and trying it for the first time...enjoy your recipes. thanks for sharing.
  5. Connie's avatar

    Connie

    | Permalink
    On the video, she uses a spring form pan and not a casserole dish as specified in the recipe. I think it would be a much nicer presentation using the spring form pan, but what size??? Thank you.

Leave a Comment