Baked Ziti

I have a friend who was returning from a trip to the UK and I knew she would have no food in her house. She loves Italian food so I thought I would make her some ziti. Then I figured I might as well feed my other friends too. It is just as easy to make tons of ziti as it is to make one container.

I started with several pound of ground beef to make meatballs. I also mixed in 1 pound of Italian sausage.

While I made the meatballs I sauteed the pancetta.

I added crushed crackers, granulated garlic, diced onion, fresh parsley, 2 eggs and some salt and pepper.

Mix this together very thoroughly.

Dice as much garlic as you like.

I always make my sauce using some sort of pork. I had 2 smoked pork chops so I browned them in the leftover pancetta grease.

Then I sauteed the garlic until it turned golden.

Cook the meatballs, turning often, until they are evenly browned. Remove them and set them aside for a bit.

Stir in 3 large (28 oz.) cans of crushed tomatoes. These measurements are changed depending on how much you are making. Add 1 large can of tomato paste. Add salt and pepper to taste. This sauce gets a lot of it's flavor from the meat.

Add in the crisp pancetta, meatballs and pork. Place this in a 325 degree oven for an hour.

I made some semolina bread to go with the final dish.

Prepare the ricotta buy dumping all of it in a large bowl and adding salt, pepper, grated romano cheese, 3 raw eggs, oregano and granulated garlic. Mix this thoroughly.

Boil your pasta until just al dente.

This is the sauce after an hour of cooking.

This is a great recipe to use up leftover cheese. I had some Boursin so I added it and stirred it in.

Dice up lots of Provolone cheese.

I grated some extra Asiago that I had too. Add both cheeses to the pasta and stir around.

Mix some of the sauce with the pasta.

Put some sauce in the bottom of your dishes. Top with a layer of pasta and then a layer of ricotta.

Top with another layer of pasta, sauce and sprinkle with some grated Parmesan.

Bread fresh from the oven.

The ziti bakes at 325 degrees for 1 hour.

These freeze very well too!


Anonymous said…
OK,, I have confess,, i make Baked Ziti,, would you like my recipe,, well its quite complicated,,, boil Ziti,, open jar of sauce,, fry some ground beef,, mix all together put cheese on top and bake,, now which one would you want,, I'm no,, I'm hanging my head in shame, I'm pathetic,,, you are such a good cook,, my,, my,, i must do better,, you are my hero chef!!!This is so beautiful too,,
Pricilla said…

I am going to make corn risotto tonight. I have been thinking about it for a while.
Mmmm, corn
looks so of most favorite dishes...

i'll put this one on the list...

john loves baked pasta and so do teddy and i.

kary and l'il teddy
SharleneT said…
Forget sharing our miserable recipes, ladies -- let's just all move into her neighborhood! Makes sense to me! Lordy, this looks good... I'm heating up my leftover spaghetti and garden-fresh homemade sauce (couldn't resist, Jaz! tee hee) for lunch, right now; but, I still want yours...
Anonymous said…
I´ve never heard of this before but once again You´ve made me hungry :-) It´s time for something to eat :-) :-)

Have a great day!
Sharon Lovejoy said…
Uh oh, I am lying flat on my back in bed and just read this posting...why aren't you my neighbor?? I'm sick of chicken noodle soup...I need some JAZ food.

Love this and will print it for Jeff to master for our bi-weekly neighborhood potlucks.

Thanks for this!


Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island (when will you publish a cookbook?)
I agree with SharleenT! Moving next door would solve all our problems. Your ziti looks wonderful.
Boston won tonight. I need to drown my sorrows in ziti!
petoskystone said…
baked ziti...oh, yum! comfort food everyone will eat! the freezes well part is the best, given the arrival of summer heat.