Friday, July 20, 2007

The Pleasure of Penne

Last night I decided to used the meat sauce I had frozen in the freezer form an earlier batch I made about a month ago. I wanted to do a baked ziti, but no I had no ziti, so I subbed penne.
I used fresh basil, and oregano which made the flavor very intense and delicious.

For another variation I decided to make a bechamel sauce to layer over the meat sauce. I'm glad I did this, it really made for a spectacular dish!

Baked Penne

  • 1 lb. penne pasta

  • 3 cups meat sauce (I used lean ground beef, onions, peppers, celery, garlic, oregano, basil, bay, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, beef stock)

  • 1/4 cup fresh basil cut into a chiffonade (roll up like a cigar and chop so you get thin strips)

  • 3 tbs. fresh oregano

  • 1 1/2 cups Parmesan divided

  • 2-2/12 cups mozzarella cheese

Bechamel Sauce

  • 5 Tbs. unsalted butter

  • 4 Tbs. flour

  • Garlic Powder

  • Onion Powder

  • 2 cups milk

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

  • Freshly grated nutmeg (1/2 tsp.)

  • 1/2 cup Parmesan

Melt butter over meduim heat in a sauce pan. Add flour, onion and garlic powders and cook whisking constantly for 2 minutes. Add milk and cream slowly (1/2 cup at a time) and contiue to whisk. bring to a simmer and let thicken about 1 minute. remove from heat and whisk in parmesan and freshly grated nutmeg.

Cook penne in salted boiling water for 6 minutes (it will finish cooking while it bakes). Layer a little of the meat sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 glass casserole. Add a layer of penne. On top of the penne layer some bechamel. Add another layer of meat sauce. Then Parmesan, then basil and oregano, then mozzarella. Continue to layer until ingredients are gone. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil the last 5 minutes so the mozzarella can get a nice golden color.


Kayte said...

this looks so delicious ally! those fresh basil leaves look so yummy. i love fresh basil. you are quite the cook!

Jackie said...

Hi Ally

Baked Penne dated July 20, 2007. Is the recipe for the meat sauce you used for the baked penne posted anywhere on your website. Also in the bechamel approximately how much garlic and onion powder did you use. Could you please get back to me asap, I really want to try this recipe. Thank You.