Perpetual Consumption | Pasta Bake with Pork Ragu and Parmesan Cream

Pasta Bake with Pork Ragu and Parmesan Cream

This recipe is a tasty version of a bolognese pasta bake with a few differences – pancetta and good quality sausage meat rather than mince meat, and a cheat’s white sauce (no mucking around with roux and bechamel here!).  The photos don’t really do it justice – believe me, this is amazing.  It’s based on a recipe of Jill Dupleix.  She recommends using either pork mince or pork sausages (I would always go for the sausages provided they are good quality as they will elevate the flavour of the dish – I use continental).  Jill’s recipe has the ragu baked in the oven inside 250g conchiglioni (those great big pasta shells) which are way too fiddly for the boy, so I use rigatoni or something similar and use just short of a 500g packet as the sauce is quite rich.  Because it makes such a big batch, you’ll be able to have it two nights in a row and save cooking again – big yay!  A super tasty dish the whole family will love.



2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 onion, finely diced
50g pancetta, finely diced
2 medium carrots, finely diced
1 celery stalk, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, finely grated
500g Italian pork sausage meat
1 tbsp plain flour
400ml tomato passata (sugo)
2 tbsp tomato paste
½ tsp dried oregano
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp parsley, chopped
400g rigatone
150g peas, frozen

Parmesan cream sauce:
150ml thickened cream (I used a bit more)
50g grated parmesan (again, I used a bit more)
1 tsp grated lemon zest
Freshly grated nutmeg



Heat 1 tbsp olive oil and butter in a large pan, and cook the onion, pancetta, carrots, celery and garlic for 10 minutes.  Score the skins of the sausages and remove.  Add the sausage mince to the pan and cook until browned.  Scatter with flour and cook through for 2 minutes, then add tomato passata, tomato paste, oregano, salt (omit if you’re using salty sausages), pepper, parsley and 500 millilitres of water, stirring well.  Simmer gently for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally until thickened.

Heat the oven to 180C.  Cook the pasta according to packet instructions until al dente, then scoop out and rinse under cold water. Cook the peas in the hot pasta water for 1 minute, then drain.  Add the remaining oil to the bottom of a baking dish and toss the pasta in the oil.

Mix ragu in with pasta and scatter with peas.  Gently heat the cream, most of the parmesan, lemon zest, nutmeg, sea salt and pepper in a small pan and pour over top.  Scatter with remaining parmesan and bake for 20 minutes or until golden and bubbling.

Serves 6-8 hungry people

(I overcooked it a bit this time – 5 minutes too long in the oven, the top got a bit of crisp on it, but that’s not such a bad thing!)


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