Christmas Pasta Recipe

Christmas Pasta Recipe

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Purchase your ingredients at local New Orleans grocery stores:

 

Ingredients 

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
  • 1/4 pound pancetta, thick-cut, chopped into small bits (Italian cured pork, ask at deli counter)
  • 1/2 pound bulk hot Italian sausage
  • 1 pound combined ground beef, pork, and veal
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 rib celery, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup good quality dry red wine
  • 1 cup prepared beef stock, paper container or canned
  • 2 (32-ounce) cans chunky style crushed tomatoes
  • A handful of chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon (a couple of pinches) allspice or cinnamon
  • Coarse salt and black pepper
  • 2 pounds penne rigate, cooked to al dente
  • Grated Pecorino Romano, as an accompaniment
  • Fresh, crusty bread, for mopping

Directions

  1. Heat a deep pot over medium-high heat. Add oil, garlic, bay, and pancetta bits and brown for 1 minute. Add meats and brown and crumble them for 5 minutes.
  2. Chop carrot, celery, and onions near the stove and add to the pot as you work. Cook vegetables with meat 5 minutes and add wine. Cook for 1 minute; add stock and tomatoes to the pot.
  3. Stir in parsley, allspice, or cinnamon and season sauce with salt and pepper, to taste. Bring sauce to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 10 to 15 minutes minimum before serving. The reheated sauce only improves.
  4. Toss pasta (cook-off only as much pasta as you need at the time: half a pound for every 3 people) with a couple of ladles of sauce to coat, then top bowl with extra sauce. Top pasta with lots of cheese and pass bread at the table.
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