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Baked Ziti Recipe

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This recipe for Baked Ziti, by , is from Vivian's Family Favorites, one of the cookbooks created at FamilyCookbookProject.com. We help families or individuals create heirloom cookbook treasures.

Contributor:  
Contributor:  
Lindie Black (Larry Hickey Sr.'s Sister)
Added: Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Category:
Category:

Ingredients:  
Ingredients:  
Olive oil
1 large onion, diced small
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 lbs Italian sausage, removed from its casing and crumble
salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 cup red wine (Shiraz, Chianti, Zinfandel, any cheap red wine)
1 (35 ounce) can chopped or crushed tomatoes
4 medium tomatoes, diced (if you donít have fresh, just add 1 regular sized can diced tomatoes
1 small can tomato sauce
1-2 tbsp. oregano (start with 1, you can always add more later)
2 tsp. thyme
3 to 4 tbsp. basil (might need more all depends on how it tastes)
1 cup fresh ricotta cheese
1 cup freshly grated mild Pecorino cheese or Parmesan Regiano
1 pinch nutmeg
1/3 cup chopped flat leaf Italian parsley
1 lb ziti or rigatoni pasta
1/2-1 lb mozzarella cheese, preferably fresh, cut into small cubes (fresh mozzarella is soft - donít use the firm ďpart skimĒ mozzarella that is sold in chunks.)

Directions:
Directions:
Heat oven to 425įF. Lightly oil a large, shallow baking dish. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. In a large skillet, heat about 2 Tbs. olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sautť until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and crumbled sausage and sautť until the sausage begins to brown. Season with salt and pepper. If the sausage gives off a lot of fat, pour most of it off, but leave a little to add flavor to the sauce. Add the red wine and let it cook until it's almost gone. Add the tomatoes with all of their juices and cook, uncovered, at a lively simmer for about 10 minutes. The sauce will thicken slightly. Add the marjoram or oregano and taste for seasoning. In a large mixing bowl, mix together ricotta, the grated Pecorino, the nutmeg, and the parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, cook the pasta until al'dente. Drain well and toss it with the ricotta mixture until well coated. Add the sausage and sauce and mix again. Add the mozzarella and toss gently. Pour everything into the baking dish and sprinkle the remaining Pecorino on top. Bake uncovered until lightly browned and bubbling, about 20 minutes or until hot.This will more than fill a standard 13x9 inch pan. If you want, you can make one pan full, and freeze the rest, you donít even have to bake the part you want to freeze first. Just put it in a freezer container and freeze until you are ready for it. I recommend letting it thaw at least partially before baking.

Personal Notes:
Personal Notes:
You can buy fresh grated Pecorino cheese, or Parmesan Reggiano in tubs at most grocery stores - donít use the type that comes in a green can, thatís dried cheese, and not what you want for this dish. Also I used a bit more red wine than recipe called for. Donít over cook the pasta - it should be slightly underdone - as the juice from the sauce will soften more during baking.

 

 

 

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