All you’ll need are drippy candles and your favorite dinner companions to complete this Italian feast! Italian turkey sausage and crispy turkey bacon simmer in a zesty wine and tomato sauce to create the base for this hearty pasta bake. Add in a rich Béchamel and plenty of mozzarella cheese to complete the dish. Don’t forget to pour yourself a glass of Chianti to enjoy. Mangia!
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 large onions, finely chopped
1/3 c uncooked turkey bacon, roughly chopped
3 lbs sweet Italian turkey sausage, cut into 1" pieces
2 c Chianti red wine
4 lbs canned diced tomatoes, with juices
8 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried thyme leaves
To Taste freshly ground black pepper
1/3 c unsalted butter
1/3 c all-purpose flour
4 c warm whole milk
To taste kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
2 lbs dried rigatoni
1 lb shredded fresh mozzarella
Chianti Tomato Sauce
Add oil to skillet and heat over medium heat. Sauté onion and turkey bacon until onion is just tender and turkey bacon is cooked through and crisp. Remove from skillet.
Stir sausage into pan and sauté until lightly browned. Add Chianti and deglaze the pan. Stir in tomatoes with juices. Return onions and turkey bacon to the pan. Add garlic, dried herbs and pepper.
Reduce the heat to very low and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 3 to 4 hours.
Over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in flour to make a roux. Continue to cook over medium heat, stirring, for 1 minute. Remove from heat and slowly whisk in the milk until it is smooth. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Reduce heat to medium-low. Return the pan to the heat, and cook, stirring constantly, until thick.
Assembly and Baking
Preheat oven to 425°F. Bring a stockpot of salted water to a rolling boil. Add rigatoni. Cook only until al dente. Drain.
Transfer the rigatoni to a large baking dish. Add the sausage-tomato sauce and stir well, coating all surfaces of pasta with tomato sauce. Sprinkle Mozzarella over the top. Finally, add the Béchamel and spread the sauce evenly, especially into the corners.
In a preheated 425°F oven, bake casserole until the top is golden. Remove from oven, let rest 5 minutes before serving.