Bolognese Pasta Bake

This is perfect if you are making a nice dinner at home to celebrate the special men in your life on Father’s Day, whether they be your own dad, father to your babies, hubby or just an awesome guy. This dish takes some time to make but it is well worth the effort. Give the guys a day off from the grill, not that the gals can’t grill! That reminds me of the time my husband told his whole family how great my steaks are! We piled the steaks on the grill and of course, I was so happy to be surrounded by my family, I kinda forgot about the steaks. Oh yeah, you guessed it. They were as burnt as toast! We all scraped at our burnt steaks making a special music together, the scraping done in unison, lol. The steaks were tough, similar to beef jerky, extra burnt flavor added, lol. So…if you are a looking for that comfort food to comfort the special men in your lives, this is a great dish to make minus heating up the charcoal! ;)

  • 1 pound good ground pork
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed and finely chopped
  • 2 small carrots. finely grated
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 28 oz. can crushed peeled Italian plum tomatoes, if the tomatoes pieces are too big you can crush by hand
  • 1 bay leaf
  • a few grates of fresh nutmeg
  • a few grates of fresh cinnamon
  • about 3 small dried mushrooms
  • 1 allspice ball
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vegeta, or any all-purpose seasoning that you like
  • 1 pound of fun pasta, I used dischi, shells and rotini are great, any pasta that will ”hug” your sauce and cheese
  • 2 pound container part skim ricotta cheese
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese

In a Dutch oven, heat your oil on low heat, add in your shallots and garlic. You want to watch this, don’t neglect it, the way I neglected the grill, lol. Stir often, you don’t want this to burn. And if any piece does burn discard it, it ruins the sauce. Low and slow is the secret to sweating the shallots and garlic. Once the shallots and garlic are translucent add your ground pork, breaking it up. You don’t want to brown the pork just cook it through. Add in your can of tomatoes, bay leaf, a little nutmeg and cinnamon (just a touch), dried mushrooms and the allspice ball. Cook covered for one hour and fifteen minutes on low heat. Stir often so it doesn’t burn. Remove the bay leaf, allspice, mushrooms and discard and add in 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter. Taste your sauce and add seasoning if you need to. Cook your pasta, on the slightly under done side, it will continue cooking in the oven. Add a tablespoon of unsalted butter to your pasta. Preheat your oven to 500 degrees. Take half the sauce and spread evenly in a 13 x 9 inch pan. Spread half the pasta (3 cups) evenly on top. Spoon half the ricotta cheese (2 cups) on top of the pasta. The trick to good cheese coverage is using a small spoon. And then using a spatula to spread it out evenly. Follow by layers of the remaining sauce, the rest of the pasta and the cheese. On top of your ricotta cheese you want to grate the Parmesan cheese. Grate it fine and cover every inch of the pan, the best part, crunchy cheesy topping. Put the pan in the oven for about 10 minutes, keep an eye on it and add more time if it isn’t as brown as you like. Pair this up with a green salad and dinner is served. Enjoy!

What a beautiful carb!

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