INGREDIENTS

  • 500g pork mince
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 150g fresh ricotta
  • 2 bunches sage, leaves picked, 1/2 finely chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 50g finely grated parmesan
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
  • 700ml tomato passata
  • 2 tsp porcini powder (optional – from good grocers)
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 1/2 bunch basil, leaves picked
  • 300g dried tortiglioni (substitute rigatoni or penne)
  • 1 ball fresh buffalo mozzarella, torn into pieces

METHOD

  • 1.
    Preheat the oven to 180°C.

  • 2.
    Combine mince, garlic, ricotta, chopped sage, eggs, parmesan and 1 tsp each salt flakes and ground black pepper in a bowl. Roll mince mixture into tablespoon-sized balls and chill for 20 minutes to firm slightly.

  • 3.
    Heat 1/3 cup (80ml) oil in a frypan over medium heat. In 2 batches, add meatballs and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes or until evenly browned. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate and repeat with remaining meatballs. Add passata, porcini powder, if using, chilli and basil, and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and set aside.

  • 4.
    Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water according to packet instructions, then drain, reserving 1/3 cup (80ml) pasta water. Add cooked pasta and reserved pasta water to sauce and stir to coat.

  • 5.
    Transfer pasta mixture to a 2L (8-cup) baking dish and top with mozzarella. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for a further 15-20 minutes or until cheese is golden. Set aside to cool slightly.

  • 6.
    Meanwhile, to make the crisp sage, heat remaining 100ml oil in a frypan over high heat. Add whole sage leaves and cook for 30 seconds or until crisp and bright green. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.

  • 7.
    Drizzle baked tortiglioni with extra oil and scatter with crisp sage to serve.

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