You better "STUFF IT" or you're gonna get SLAPPED
Omg..I crack myself up with my own puns! Ok.. let me explain..The Italian word Paccheri simply means "slapped". Many attribute the name to the "slapping" noise made when pouring sauce onto the pasta or when it falls on your plate! In the past, this type of pasta was considered the "pasta for the poor" because the large pasta noodles were very satisfying and filling. And oooohhh let me tell you..they are so CORRECT!
Stuffed Paccheri Pasta with Sausage and Mushrooms
Ingredients for the Filling
1 (12 ounce) package Paccheri Pasta
4 tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil
2 small shallots, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 pound Italian sausage
1/4 cup white wine
2 tbsp. Tomato paste
1 pound baby Bella mushrooms, chopped
Pinch Salt and pepper
2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 tbsp. Fresh chopped oregano
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, plus more
Dried Italian herbs, for topping
Ingredients for the Bechamel Sauce
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. Flour
3/4 cup whole milk, slightly warmed
Pinch salt and pepper
Heat olive oil in large skillet and add the shallots and garlic. Cook over low heat for about 10 minutes. Once shallots softened add sausage, breaking up with wooden spoon. Turn up heat and cook until sausage browned. Remove excess grease if needed with spoon. Next add the wine and allow to simmer until alcohol has evaporated. Add tomato paste and mushrooms. Mix well and cook for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and season with salt, pepper and thyme and oregano.
In small bowl mix together ricotta and Parmesan cheeses. Add to meat mixture and mix together well. Set aside.
In large pot with salted water, bring to boil and add pasta. Cook pasta a few minutes less than package instructions, about 15 minutes and then drain.
Instructions for Bechamel Sauce
In medium sauce pan melt butter and then whisk in flour. Slowly add milk and continuously whisk until sauce thickens. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Preparing Stuffed Paccheri
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Transfer the meat and cheese filling to your pastry bag. Pour half of Bechamel sauce in round casserole dish and spread sauce evenly on the bottom of dish. Next, starting from outer perimeter of pan, place Paccheri noodles vertically next to each other. Continue working towards middle of pan making sure all pasta noodles are tightly next to one another.
Fill each noodle with the filling. Add the remaining Bechamel sauce on top of noodles and spread evenly. Sprinkle with more Parmesan cheese and sprinkle with dried Italian herbs.
Bake for 25 minutes and then place on high broil for just 5 mins.