This baked anelletti is a delicious baked pasta with a hearty meaty tomato sauce topped with bread crumbs and cheese and baked to perfection!
The Sicilians love their pasta! Each pasta has its own special sauce whether ragu – meat and tomato sauce, or marinara or besciamella – a white sauce. Each pasta has its own way of cooking or preparing and you don’t want to interchange or mix up the way you prepare your pasta dish! Baked anelletti is no exception.
The anelletti pasta, little round circle pasta, is to be baked ONLY with a ragu sauce. This pasta is a baked anelletti pasta dish. You would not serve anelleti like you serve spaghetti, boiled to al dente and then served with a marinara sauce. Anelletti is to be baked in the forno or oven. So you could call this Forno Anelletti.
I also tell my Italian amici, friends, that us Americans interchange pasta and think pasta is pasta but we have a lot to learn from the Italians, Sicilians especially. I am slowing learning what pasta should be served with what sauce and how to prepare the pasta. Sicilians make the best pasta dishes and they are prepared so simply, mostly with fresh spices and a little salt and a little pepper.
Craig and I loved this baked anelletti dish. Baked anelletti is very popular here in Palermo too and generally reserved for holidays but I think it should be eaten year round. We hope you will add it to your favorite pasta recipes like we have.
- 2 ½ cups anelletti pasta
- 1 lb ground beef
- ½ cup frozen peas
- 2 ½ cups tomato sauce
- 1 ½ cups Parmesan Romano – grated and divided
- 1 ½ cups mozzarella cheese - grated
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 3 garlic cloves – minced
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- ½ small onion - chopped
- ½ small zucchini – chopped
- 1 to 2 TBS bread crumbs
- 1 TBS butter
- 2 TBS olive oil
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Saute the onion, garlic, and zucchini in the olive oil until translucent
- Add the ground beef and cook until browned throughout
- Add the tomato sauce and spices, simmer while pasta is cooking
- Add the frozen peas in the last few minutes of simmering
- Boil water and cook the anelletti pasta according to package directions but only until half cooked, just shy of al dente
- Drain the anelletti pasta
- Mix the pasta in with the ragu sauce
- Add the grated mozzarella cheese and 1 cup of the Parmesan Romano
- Grease the 9x13 pan with a little butter
- Pour in the pasta with the ragu sauce
- Sprinkle on the bread crumbs and the rest of the Parmesan Romano cheese
- Bake in the oven for 40 minutes
- Let sit in pan 10 minutes before serving