- Baked Penne with Bolognese Sauce
- (Penne al Forno con Ragu alla Bolognese)
For the Bolognese Sauce:
1 and 1/2 oz (40 grams) butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery stick, chopped
1 onion, chopped
9 oz (250 grams) ground beef
1 tablespoon concentrated tomato puree
Salt and pepper
For the White Sauce:
1 and 1/2 cups milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
For the Pasta:
1 pound Penne pasta
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 tablespoon butter
Prepare the Bolognese Sauce:
Heat the butter and olive oil in a small sauce pan and add the carrot, onion, celery, and ground beef.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Mix well and cook over a low heat for just a few minutes until the vegetables have softened and the beef starts to cook and turn brown.
Mix in the tomato puree with a little bit of water to dilute it and add to the sauce pan.
Cover and cook over a very low heat for 1 and 1/2 hours, adding a little hot water if the sauce appears to be turning dry.
Prepare the White Sauce:
Bring milk almost to a boil; set aside.
Melt butter in a medium saucepan.
When butter foams, stir in flour.
Let mixture bubble gently over low heat 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Do not let mixture brown.
Whisk in milk all at once.
Whisk until smooth.
Season with salt.
Simmer 3 to 5 minutes, whisking constantly until sauce has a medium-thick consistency.
Reduce or increase cooking time for a thinner or thicker sauce.
Prepare the Pasta:
Preheat oven to 400°F (205°C).
Generously butter bottom and sides of a baking dish.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Add pasta and cook uncovered over high heat until pasta is cooked only halfway through and has a firm consistency.
Drain pasta and place in a large bowl.
Add 2 and 1/2 cups of meat sauce, 2/3 cup of white sauce and about half of Parmigiano cheese.
Mix until pasta and sauces are well combined.
Put pasta in prepared baking dish, sprinkle top with remaining Parmigiano cheese and dot with butter.
Place dish in middle rack of oven and bake until top has a nice golden color, 8 to 10 minutes.
Remove dish from oven and let it settle a few minutes. Makes 6 servings.
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