Chef Paul Kahan ramps up this comforting Italian take on mac and cheese with fresh mozzarella, mortadella, eggs and a rich pork ragù.
Slideshow: Baked Pasta Dishes
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 pound ground pork
1 cup dry white wine
One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
Generous pinch of crushed red pepper
2 large eggs
12 ounces elbow macaroni
2 tablespoons finely chopped basil
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
One 1/4-pound piece of mortadella, cut into small dice
1 pound fresh mozzarella, cut into bite-size pieces
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
How to Make It
In a large saucepan, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the onion and garlic and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until softened, 4 minutes. Add the ground pork and cook, breaking up the meat, until browned, 10 minutes. Stir in the wine and cook until evaporated, 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, crushed red pepper and a generous pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until thickened, 1 hour.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, cover the eggs with water and bring to a boil. Cook over moderately high heat for 8 minutes. Drain the eggs and cool under running water, then peel and finely chop.
Preheat the oven to 425°. In a large saucepan of salted boiling water, cook the macaroni until al dente; drain well and stir into the sauce with the basil, parsley, chopped eggs, mortadella, three-fourths of the mozzarella and 3/4 cup of the Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Transfer the macaroni to a 3-quart ceramic baking dish and scatter the remaining mozzarella and Parmigiano-Reggiano on top. Bake for 25 minutes, until hot. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
The unbaked assembled macaroni can be refrigerated overnight. Return to room temperature before baking.
Robustly fruity Zinfandel is a good match for the richness of this pasta.
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