Ingredients Jump to Instructions ↓

  1. 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

  2. 3 tablespoons bleached all-purpose flour

  3. 2 1/2 cups milk

  4. 2 1/2 teaspoons salt

  5. 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  6. 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

  7. 1 1/4 cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (about 5 ounces)

  8. 2 pounds sweet Italian fennel sausage, cut into 1/2-inch slices

  9. 1 large fennel bulb, trimmed, cored, and coarsely chopped

  10. 1 tablespoon minced garlic

  11. 1 pound dried ziti or penne

  12. 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  13. 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves

Instructions Jump to Ingredients ↑

  1. Preheat the oven to 375?F. Generously butter a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon of the butter. † Melt the remaining 3 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the flour and let foam, stirring constantly, without browning the flour, for about 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk 1/2 cup at a time, and season with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, the pepper, and nutmeg. Bring to a simmer, whisking often, and cook until thick, about 5 minutes. Whisk in 1/2 cup of the grated cheese. Remove from the heat, cover, and keep warm. † Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook until just browned, about 4 minutes. Add the fennel and cook, stirring, until wilted, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. † Meanwhile, bring 1 gallon water and the remaining 2 teaspoons salt to a boil in a large pot over high heat. Add the ziti and cook, stirring occasionally to keep the pasta from sticking together, until just al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain, then return to the pot. † Toss the pasta with the olive oil. Add the sausage mixture, the cream sauce, and basil and mix well. † Spread the pasta in the prepared dish and sprinkle with the remaining 3/4 cup cheese. Bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately. † Yield : 6 to 8 servings


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