Baked anelletti Palermo style, a must of Sicilian cooking,
is a typical ring-shaped pasta of Sicilian origin. It is used almost exclusively for this traditional dish containing pasta and meat and served as both first and second course.Ingredients for a 26 cm round springform pan:
For the meat sauce (called Ragú):
- 500g anelletti
- 1 eggplant
- 150g grated caciocavallo cheese or parmesan
- bread crumbs
- extra virgin olive oil
- 500g minced beef
- 1 carrot
- 1 rib of celery
- 1 onion
- 1 glass of white wine
- 500ml tomato puree
- 1 tablespoon estratto (tomato concentrate paste made with ripe sun-dried tomatoes)
- 200g béchamel sauce
- salt and pepper
- First, prepare the sauce, chop the onion, celery and carrot and fry them in 2 tablespoons olive oil, then add the minced meat and the white wine and sauté separating the lumps with a wooden spoon. As soon as all the meat starts to become darker, add a tablespoon of tomato paste and a few minutes later the tomato sauce (including some water to rinse the bottle!). Add salt and pepper and bring to boil with the lid. When it boils, reduce heat to low and simmer semi-covered for a couple of hours. At the end add basil and béchamel sauce diluted with some milk beforehand.
- Cut the eggplant into slices lengthwise. Put the slices with salt in a colander for about 1 hour, dry them and fry them in hot oil. Put them on a plate covered with kitchen paper to dry the oil.
- Cook the anelletti in boiling salted water until "very al dente" for approximately 3 quarters of the time written in the package (as it will continue cooking in the oven) and drain them. Meantime, pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees.
- Brush some oil on the bottom and sides of a springform pan then sprinkle well with bread crumbs.
If you want a richer version add for example peas or chunks of ham to the sauce!
- Coat the bottom of the mold with the slices of eggplant.
- Mix anelletti and ragú sauce and add the grated cheese (caciocavallo or Parmesan cheese)
- Pour the anelletti-sauce mixture in the mold and sprinkle with breadcrumbs.
- Bake 30-40 minutes or until golden brown on the surface.
- Remove from oven, let it cool a bit and remove the pie from the springform pan inverting onto a plate.