Anelletti al forno (ring-shaped pasta with meat sauce, peas and cheese) - Sicilia
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Categories: Kids, Gluten free* use gluten free pasta, Dairy free* eliminate the cheese, Vegetarian*make with tomato sauce instead of meat sauce
Anelletti are a ring-shaped pasta originating from Palermo but enjoyed throughout Sicilia. Children and adults alike love this dish. Sicilian families pack this dish for picnics and days at the beach as it can be served hot or room temperature.
If necessary, substitute tube-shaped pasta for anelletti but cook it until it is still very firm. Anelletti are perfect for baking because they maintain their shape and firm texture despite prolonged cooking and are still excellent as leftovers. Mozzarella can be substituted for caciocavallo cheese if needed.
Recipe type: First Course (Primo)
Cuisine: Sicilia
Serves: 8
  • 85 mls olive oil
  • 250 grams pork shoulder, from the neck end, rinsed and dried
  • 240 mls white wine
  • 2 onions, skinned, ends removed and finely chopped
  • 1 onion, skinned, ends removed and finely sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, skin removed and finely chopped
  • 15 grams (1 tablespoon tomato paste)
  • 500 mls tomato sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 300 grams peas
  • 500 grams anelletti pasta
  • 100 grams caciocavallo cheese, cubed
  • 50 grams pecorino cheese, finely grated
  • 15 grams breadcrumbs
  1. Heat a heavy bottomed pan like a dutch oven. Add 60 mls of olive oil and the pork, turning to brown the meat.
  2. Remove the meat from the pan and add 2 of the onions with 240 mls of water.
  3. Cook for 10 minutes until the onions are soft.
  4. Add back the pork.
  5. Add the white wine, bay leaf, garlic, tomato paste, tomato sauce, salt and pepper to the pork.
  6. Cook on low heat for 2 hours. If the sauce starts to dry out or scorch, add a bit of water. Let the meat cool, remove the bay leaf and discard. Chop the pork finely and add back to the sauce.
  7. Stir to combine.
  8. While the sauce is cooking, heat 15 mls of olive oil and the sliced onion in a sauce pan over low heat with the lid on.
  9. When the onions are soft, about 15 minutes, add the peas, salt and pepper. Cook until the peas are cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  10. Heat the oven to 200C.
  11. In a large pot heat 5 litres of water with 50 grams of salt and bring to a boil. Add the anelletti and cook for 5 minutes less than the time on the package (about 20 minutes). (Note: If you are substituting a tube-shaped pasta, the cooking time will be much less. Check the suggested cooking time on the package but it will probably cook for about 7 to 8 minutes.) Drain the pasta and mix with half of the sauce.
  12. Use 10 mls of olive oil to grease a rectangular baking pan. Sprinkle it with half the breadcrumbs shaking to ensure they are evenly distributed.
  13. Add half of the pasta to the baking pan. Top with the caciocavallo, the peas and onions, 15 grams of the pecorino and the reserved sauce.
  14. Spread the remaining pasta over the top and top with the remaining breadcrumbs and 35 grams pecorino cheese.
  15. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake until the top is golden about 10-15 minutes.
Recipe by Living a Life in Colour at