Paccheri with sausage ragù and mozzarella

Wide tubes of pasta are the ideal vessels for this chunky sausage sauce laced with red wine, fennel and chilli. Stand the tubes upright in the baking dish and stuff them with the sauce, making every bite the perfect mix of sauce and cheese.

You'll need

500 gm dried paccheri or rigatoni 2 buffalo mozzarella balls (200gm each), torn Oregano and grated parmesan, to serve   Sausage and red wine ragù 1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing 1 small Spanish onion, finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1 tsp fennel seeds ½ tsp dried chilli flakes 400 gm pork and fennel sausages, squeezed out of their casings 125 ml red wine 400 gm canned cherry tomatoes 200 gm tomato polpa (see note) or passata 1 fresh bay leaf 1 tbsp red wine vinegar, or to taste   Béchamel 30 gm butter, diced 30 gm plain flour 500 ml (2 cups) hot milk 50 gm parmesan


  • 01
  • For ragù, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add onion and sauté until translucent (4-5 minutes). Add garlic, fennel seeds and chilli flakes, stir until fragrant, then add sausage and fry, breaking it into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until browned (2-3 minutes). Deglaze pan with wine and boil until reduced by half (2-3 minutes). Add tomatoes, polpa and bay leaf, season generously and simmer until rich and thick (25-30 minutes). Stir in vinegar and season to taste (discard bay leaf).
  • 02
  • For béchamel, melt butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat, then stir in flour until sandy (1-2 minutes). Gradually whisk in hot milk until smooth, season to taste, bring to a simmer and stir continuously until thickened (1-2 minutes). Whisk in parmesan, check seasoning, then pour béchamel into the base of a lightly oiled 25cm-diameter baking dish.
  • 03
  • Preheat oven to 180C. Cook pasta in a large saucepan of well-salted boiling water until not quite al dente (8-10 minutes). Drain and stand paccheri upright in béchamel. Spoon in ragù, filling pasta tubes with sauce. Scatter with mozzarella and extra parmesan, and bake until bubbling and golden brown (15-20 minutes). Season, scatter with oregano and serve hot.

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 - 6 people
The Gourmet Traveller podcast

Each fortnight we round up the most interesting characters from the food world for your listening pleasure. We chat to chefs, cooks, authors, bar tenders and baristas - anyone who has something new and interesting to say about the way we like to eat and drink.

Recipe collections

Looking for fresh dinner ideas? Not sure how to make the most out of seasonal produce? Or do you need to plan the perfect party menu? Our recipe collections have you covered.

See more

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 - 6 people

Additional Notes

Tomato polpa, finely chopped tomatoes canned in their juice, is available from select supermarkets and delicatessens.

Drink Suggestion

A nice Chianti

Featured in

Aug 2017

You might also like...

A culinary Tour de France


T-bone steaks with garlic buttered mushrooms and mash

Beef cheek recipes


Crisp-skin trout with grapefruit, walnut and radicchio salad

Steak with sweet and sour beetroot and horeseradish creme fraiche


Roast snapper with mandarin and fennel sauce

Good Luck Pinbone's Sichuan chilli eggplant with wood-ear fungus


Deep-fried chicken with finger-lime sauce

Soy-roast duck with mandarin


conversion tool