Sunday Pasta®: Anelli al Forno (Baked Pasta Rings)

Knock knock. Who’s there? Trixie. Trixie who? Trixie Dekaphobia (aka, triskaidekaphobia, or the fear of the number 13). Fear of 13? I just can’t relate. For me, it’s finally 2013 and I couldn’t be happier.  13 is  my lucky number, as it was my grandfather Edwin’s. He was born in April 13, 1913, as he claimed, at the hour of 13:13, and 13 seconds. As a kid, I loved that The Munsters lived at 1313 Mockingbird Lane. For college, I was drawn to Colgate, “founded by 13 men with 13 dollars and 13 prayers.”  I like sitting in the 13th row of an airplane, and I love staying on the 13th floor of a hotel, even though wimpy builders try to fool me by only putting 12 and 14 on the elevator panel.

The circles in today’s anelli (pasta rings)  remind me of the number 13, and so to me this is a lucky dish to ring in a lucky year.  They may look like Spaghetti-O’s, which is  an unfortunate coincidence, but I can guarantee that these anelli al forno will bring you and your guests good luck in 2013.

Buon 2013 and Buon Appetito.

Ed Garrubbo

p.s. check out our wine pairings for Anelli al Forno.

Sunday Pasta® Recipe: Anelli al Forno (Baked Pasta Rings)

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 4-6

Ingredients

1 pound anelli (large or small pasta rings)
¼ cup olive oil
1 onion, chopped
8 ounces ground beef (optional)
8 ounces ground pork
1 eggplant, cubed and lightly fried (optional)
1 cup dry red wine
1 28 ounce can Italian tomatoes, pureed
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
8 ounces frozen peas, thawed
4 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
6 ounces ricotta salata, grated
4 ounces breadcrumbs

Instructions

In a large skillet, combine the olive oil and onion and cook until golden brown. Add the meats and cook a few minutes until the pink is mostly gone. Add the red wine and cook for a minute or two. Add the tomato puree, salt and pepper and cook for 20-30 minutes until reduced, then add the peas and cook for a few more minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to boil for the pasta. Cook for half of the package's recommended duration and drain. Add the pasta to the sauce and mix in cheeses. (If adding eggplant, add now). Move the pasta mixture to a baking dish. Brush with oil and sprinkle with breadcrumbs and place in the oven. Bake at 350° for about 30 minutes. Let sit for 5-10 minutes, then serve.

Notes

This dish can be prepared with meat, eggplant or both.

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