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When we were in Rome a couple of years ago, we noticed the Romans ordering this pasta shape. It’s a 2” long, hollow pasta, larger than rigatoni and lately I have noticed that it’s available here in Vancouver. I created the following pasta based on a Roman recipe, using a turkey Bolognese sauce. We thought it was darned good! The Bolognese would also make a delicious lasagne! Click here to see the recipe.
Makes 6 – 8 Main Course Servings
For the Turkey Bolognese Sauce:
2 Tbsp. EVO
2 cups chopped onions
½ cup diced carrot
1 Tbsp. fennel, seeds, crushed in a spice mill (aka coffee grinder used only for grinding spices)
1 lb. spicy Italian turkey sausages,** casings removed (if you cannot find spicy sausages add ¼ tsp. of pepperoncino (red chili flakes), or to taste
3 large garlic cloves, minced
½ cup dry white wine
5 cups (approximately 2 1/2 – 28 oz. tins) Italian Plum tomatoes in thick juice (crush the tomatoes with your hands into a large bowl)
1 cup chopped fresh basil, divided
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh oregano, or 1 Tbsp. dried oregano
1 (15 oz.) container whole-milk ricotta cheese
1 lb. Paccheri pasta or Rigatoni
½ cup ricotta cheese or mascarpone cheese
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh marjoram (it really needs to be fresh)
Make the Bolognese Sauce:
Heat the EVO in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, carrot and fennel seeds; sauté 5 minutes or until tender but not browned. Add the sausage & garlic; sauté until sausage is cooked through, breaking up lumps with a fork; about 8 – 10 minutes. Add the wine; boil 1 minute. Add tomatoes & their juice, ½ cup basil & oregano; bring to a boil. Reduce heat & simmer until sauce thickens, about 10 minutes; season to taste with salt & freshly ground black pepper. Keep warm. (You can make the sauce a day or so ahead).
While the sauce is simmering, combine the ricotta & the fresh marjoram. Put aside until ready to dress the pasta.
Heat a large pasta serving bowl.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 Tbsp. salt then the Pacchere. Cook for approximately 12 minutes until al dente. Reserve 1 cup pasta cooking water. Drain the pasta in a colander & return the pasta to the pan with the sauce. Carefully toss the pasta until it is thoroughly coated with the sauce for a minute or so. If it appears a bit to dry, add a bit of the pasta cooking water & toss again.
Place the pasta in the warmed serving bowl & top with spoonfuls of the ricotta, marjoram mixture. Bring to the table & just before serving, toss again until cheese melts into the sauce.
**If you would like to find a source for the Italian Turkey Sausages, please go to My Source List.