SERVES 4 FOR 2 DINNERS, WITH PLENTY OF EXTRA RAGÙ SAUSAGE RAGÙ
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 pounds (900g) your favorite sausage (chicken or pork, sweet or hot), removed from the casings
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- Kosher salt
- 2 fat cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 8 cups (1.4kg/ 2.5kg) fresh or canned chopped tomatoes (preferably Pomi)
- 6 fresh basil leaves
- Soft butter, for the baking dish
- 1 cup (240ml) heavy cream
- 1 cup (110g) grated mozzarella
- 1/2 cup (50g) grated Parmesan
- 1/4 cup (60g) fresh ricotta
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 pound (450g) short pasta (such as penne or small shells)
- 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 To make the ragù, warm the olive oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Brown the sausage, breaking it up as it cooks, about 5 minutes.
2 Clear a spot in the middle of the pan and add the onion and a couple pinches of salt. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
3 Stir in the tomatoes and basil and simmer until the sauce thickens and the flavors meld, at least 45 minutes. (Add a little water if the sauce looks dry.) Taste and adjust the seasoning and discard the basil. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
4 The day of: Heat the oven to 500 ° F (260 ° C). Butter a shallow 2-quart (1.9L) baking dish and bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
5 In a large bowl, combine the 4 cups (950ml) ragù with the heavy cream, mozzarella, Parmesan, ricotta, and salt.
6 Cook the pasta for 3 minutes, then drain and run it under cold water to stop the cooking. Add the pasta to the bowl, tossing gently to combine.
7 Spread the pasta evenly into the baking dish. Scatter the cubed butter over the top. 8 Bake until bubbly and brown, about 10 minutes. Cool slightly before serving. Reserve half for later in the week— right in the baking dish, or transfer to a container.