This recipe serves four but is easily doubled or tripled for a larger group.
For the Ragu:
- 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tbs butter
- 1 onion – chopped
- 2 garlic cloves – chopped or minced
- 2-3 lbs italian sausage – meat crumbled
- 1 cup white wine – one you would enjoy drinking
- 1-2 tbs tomato paste
- ½ cup chicken stock
- salt and freshly ground pepper – to taste
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- Preheat Oven to 350º
- In a large skillet over medium heat, warm the olive oil together with the butter.
- Add the onion and sauté for a few minutes before adding the garlic.
- Cook, stirring frequently for a few minutes until the onion is translucent being careful to not burn the garlic.
- Add the ground beef and the sausage meat and continue to cook until all redness disappears.
- Deglaze with the wine and cook until the aroma from the wine dissipates.
- Add the tomato paste and the chicken stock and cook until the liquid has reduced by about half.
- Season with the salt, freshly ground black pepper and red pepper flakes and set aside.
For The Bechemel:
- 2 tbs butter
- ¼ cup flour
- 2 cups milk – heated to almost simmer
- pinch of salt
- pinch of nutmeg – to taste
- In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.
- Slowly add the flour and cook, stirring, until the flour is completely incorporated into the butter.
- Add the warm milk and cook, continually whisking, until the sauce thickens. Remove from the heat, cover and set aside.
- Have ready, 1 pound of short pasta such as penne. ½ cup freshly grated cheese, your favorite, and breadcrumbs for dusting.
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook only until slightly al dente. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot.
- Add the ragu and mix well.
- Add the béchamel together with the freshly grated cheese and mix well to combine.
- In a lightly oiled baking dish, dust with the breadcrumbs and add the mixture without packing down too much.
- Top with a little extra sauce and bake in the preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes.
My family likes this dish a little creamier so I do the béchamel 1 ¼ or 1 ½ times.