BAKED PENNETTE with MEAT SAUCE adapted from Food & Wine Magazine
• 1 pound penne pasta • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil * 1 large onion, finely chopped • 1 pound ground lamb • 1 pound ground veal (or venison like I served my unsuspecting family) • One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained • 1 tablespoon tomato paste • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley • Salt and freshly ground black pepper • 1 stick unsalted butter • 3/4 cup flour • 1 quart whole milk • 2 large egg yolks • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350˚ F. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta until done. Drain well. 2. In a large, deep skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add the ground lamb and veal and cook, stirring to break up the lumps, until the meat is beginning to brown. Remove from heat and stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, marjoram and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a large bowl. 3. In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook over moderate heat, whisking, for 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the milk and cook over moderately high heat, whisking constantly, until the sauce is very thick and boiling, 7 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the egg yolks and the Parmigiano-Reggiano. Stir in all but 1 1/2 cups of sauce into the meat mixture along with the pasta and season with salt and pepper. Spoon into a 3-quart baking dish (or do what I did; divide between two shallow baking dishes and freeze one for later). Spread the reserved 1 1/2 cups of sauce on top. 4. Bake the pasta in the center of the oven for about 30 minutes, until bubbling. Preheat the broiler. Broil the pasta 8 inches from the heat for about 2 minutes, until the top is browned and bubbling. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.