Candele Lunghe in a Tomato Beef Sauce

Can also be called, ”Worms in Tomato Sauce” for the older boys and girls that delight in a little bit of “ILLLL!” and “YUCK!” and similar squeals of the Halloween season. This is great to make on Halloween, before the kids go out trick or treating. You can make this ahead and just heat it up in the oven, the day of. Or you can even make it over the weekend and freeze it. (Just defrost before baking.) This is great for an adult Halloween party also! If you can’t find candele lunghe you can use bucatini in its’ place. And you can certainly use ground turkey instead of the ground beef, I actually prefer turkey over beef any day, but found free range, grass fed organic ground beef that I couldn’t pass up. You can always make this dish vegetarian also! It’s really important, to use a marinara sauce that isn’t laden with oil, otherwise the pasta will be swimming in oil and you will get an ill and a yuck, but not the kind you were anticipating, that comes with a giggle, lol. Enjoy and have a happy weekend!

  • 1 pound candele lunghe pasta,broken in half, cooked al dente
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 cups part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 5 small tomatoes, like Campari, roughly chopped equalling a cup
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed and minced
  • 1 24 oz. jar good marinara sauce (or a little larger)
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
  • 1 juniper berry
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 clove
  • sea salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • olive oil for drizzling
  • 1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

Begin by heating up a drizzle of olive oil in a heavy bottomed pan, add the beef, juniper berry, bay leaf, clove, paprika, salt and pepper. Saute the meat until browned, breaking it up as needed and cooked through, set aside. In the same pan, add a drizzle of olive oil and saute the tomatoes and the garlic on low heat for about 10 minutes, until the tomatoes and garlic are cooked through. Add the jar of tomato sauce and cook for ten minutes. Discard the juniper berry, bay leaf and clove and add the beef to the sauce.

Use a nice amount of olive oil when cooking your pasta, so they don’t stick to each other. Stirring the pasta often. Drain carefully and , use tongs to handle the hot pasta and spread out the noodles on parchment paper, so they don’t stick to each other. Spoon 2 cups of the sauce down in a 13×9 pan and top with a layer of tightly packed candele lunghe.

Spoon on 1 cup of ricotta cheese. Follow by 2 more cups of tomato sauce. Top your sauce with another tight layer of the pasta. Spoon on another cup of ricotta cheese, followed by a layer of pasta. Ending with the remaining tomato sauce. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top and bake in a 350 degree, preheated oven for 30 minutes. This serves 6-8.

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