Christmas Pasta!

Christmas Pasta

Everyone loves pasta and this holiday favorite is sure to please. It takes about 50 minutes to prepare. 25 minutes to set up and cook time about 25 minutes.


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 whole bay leaf, fresh or dried
  • 4 ounces chopped pancetta
  • 8 ounces sweet or hot Italian sausage
  • 8 ounces ground beef
  • 8 ounces ground pork
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled & finely chopped
  • 1 rib celery, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • Two 32-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1 handful chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice or ground cinnamon
  • kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 32 ounces penne pasta, cooked to al dente
  • grated Parmesan, for serving (if desired)


  • Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and brown to render the fat. Transfer the pancetta to paper towels to drain. Add the oil to the pan, and then the meats and brown and crumble them for 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, and pancetta bits.
  • Chop the carrot, celery, and onions near the stove and add to the pot as you work. Cook the vegetables with the meat for 5 minutes and then add the wine. Cook for 1 minute; add the broth and tomatoes to the pot.
  • Stir in the parsley, allspice, or cinnamon and season the sauce with salt and pepper, to taste. Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low, and cook 10 to 15 minutes, minimum, before serving. Reheated sauce only improves.
  • Toss the pasta (cook off only as much pasta as you need at the time: half a pound for every 3 people) with a couple of ladles of sauce to coat, then top the bowl with extra sauce. Top the pasta with lots of cheese, as desired.