Laura's Pasta al Forno with Sugo
Laura's Pasta al Forno with Sugo
Try this pasta recipe by Laura Vitale from Simply Laura.
  • Difficulty Level Moderate
  • Technique Roasting
  • Preparation Time 10 minutes
  • Cooking Time 20 minutes
  • Yield 4 - 6
As seen on Simply Laura
Ingredients
  • Meatballs:
  • ½ cup fresh breadcrumbs (from about 1 slice crusty bread, pulsed in a food processor)
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 large Egg
  • 1 clove Garlic, finely minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 454 grams ground beef (80 percent lean works best)
  • Sugo:
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin Olive oil, plus more if needed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 454 grams Pork spare ribs
  • 454 grams Italian sausage, cut into chunks
  • 1 medium yellow Onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup red wine
  • Three 24.5-ounce bottles Tomato passata
  • 6 leaves fresh Basil, torn
  • Pasta al Forno:
  • 3 large Eggs
  • Kosher salt
  • 454 grams Rigatoni or Penne pasta
  • ½ cup whole milk ricotta, preferably fresh (the crumbly kind, if you can find it)
  • 113 grams Provolone, cut into small cubes
  • 113 grams Sopressata, cut into small cubes
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 227 grams Mozzarella, cut into small cubes
Method
  1. For the Meatballs:
  2. In a small bowl, add the fresh breadcrumbs and mix them with the milk; set aside for just a few minutes so the breadcrumbs can soak up the milk
  3. In a large bowl, add the Parmigiano, parsley, egg, garlic, the breadcrumb mixture, a pinch of salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper or more to taste
  4. Mix everything together with a fork and add the ground beef
  5. Mix everything together until well combined
  6. Form tiny little meatballs (about the size of 1 teaspoon) and place them on a large plate (get your kids involved in this stage)
  7. Cover them with plastic wrap and pop them in the fridge for around 1 hour
  1. For the Sugo:
  2. In a large heavy-bottomed pot, add the Olive oil and allow it to get nice and hot over medium-high heat
  3. Sprinkle both sides of the ribs with a pinch of salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and place them in the hot pan
  4. Cook them until they develop some colour, just for a few minutes on each side (you will most likely have to do this in batches)
  5. Transfer to a plate and repeat the same process with the sausage
  6. Cook the tiny meatballs in batches in the same pan until they too have developed some colour all around, a few minutes. Transfer to a plate
  7. Add a bit more oil if the pan is to dry, or discard some oil if the meat has rendered off too much fat
  8. Add the onions and lower the heat to medium. Cook until they have softened quite a bit, 6 to 7 minutes
  9. Add the red wine, allowing it to reduce for 1 minute
  10. Add the passata, along with your browned ribs and sausage with all the juices collected in the bottom of the plates, and give everything a good stir
  11. Allow the sugo to come up to a boil, then drop in the meatballs (don't forget those flavorful juices)
  12. Lower the heat to low, partially cover the pot and allow your sugo to cook low and slow for about 4 hours, making sure to check on it every once in a while
  13. Taste and season your sugo well with some salt and pepper; add in the torn basil leaves
  14. Take the ribs and sausage out of the pot and place them in a large shallow plate; cover to keep warm
  15. Remove the tiny meatballs with a large slotted spoon and set aside
  1. For the Pasta al Forno:
  2. Place the eggs in a saucepan, cover with water and bring them to a boil
  3. Boil for 1 minute, then turn the heat off and cover the pan
  4. Let them sit exactly 10 minutes, then drain and dunk them in ice water to cool. Peel and roughly chop them
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Ladle about 1 cup of the sugo in the bottom of a deep 13-by-9-inch pan and set aside
  6. Meanwhile, cook the rigatoni in some salted boiling water for about 7 minutes (check the cooking time on the box of rigatoni and cook them for 2 minutes less); drain them well
  7. In a large bowl (and I do mean large), add the ricotta, about 3 cups of sugo, the tiny meatballs, the provolone, sopressata, eggs and half of the Parmigiano. Mix to combine
  8. Tumble your mixture into your prepared pan, cover with some foil and bake for 35 minutes
  9. Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees F
  10. Remove the foil, top with the mozzarella and sprinkle over the remaining Parmigiano
  11. Pop it back in the oven to bake until the top is golden brown and bubbly, another 15 to 20 minutes
  12. Allow to cool for about 20 minutes before serving

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