I was horrified one night to discover I had misplaced this recipe, and had to go without. So, here it is for safekeeping. Recipe originally from Fine Cooking. Although it claims to serve four, it seems to make an incredible amount. I freeze half of what it makes before baking, to be enjoyed another evening.
- olive oil
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, cut into small dice
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1⁄2 lbs hot Italian sausage, removed from its casing and crumbled
- salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 1⁄4 cup dry red wine
- 1 (35 ounce) can plum tomatoes, chopped, with their juice
- 4 medium tomatoes, diced
- 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh marjoram (from about 6 large sprigs) or 1⁄4 cup oregano (from about 6 large sprigs)
- 1 cup fresh ricotta cheese
- 1 cup freshly grated mild pecorino cheese
- 1 pinch nutmeg, preferably freshly grated
- 1⁄3 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
- 1 lb ziti pasta
- 1⁄2-1 lb mozzarella cheese, preferably fresh, cut into small cubes
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Lightly oil a large, shallow baking dish.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- In a large skillet, heat about 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat.
- Add the onion and saute until soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and crumbled sausage; saute until the sausage begins to brown.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- If the sausage renders a lot of fat, pour most of it off leaving a little to add flavor to the sauce.
- Add the red wine; boil until it is 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, about half 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.
- Serve right away.
A quick and delicious recipe that I made for my son's 17th birthday.
A keeper for sure! I made this to take to a friend who is out of commission at the moment. I found this recipe on the Fine Cooking Site and it doesn't say anything about 4 medium tomatoes so I am not sure if this is something you have added or a typo. I used Pecorino Romano cheese and added a little more than Â¾ cup to the topping. You could substitute fresh Parmesan, Asiago, or Grana Padano cheese for the Pecorino. The smell of this cooking was heavenly. I had to make another dish the next day just to try it. DD and I have been eating the left overs cold because it taste so good. The second batch I added a little tomato sauce to the tomato and sausage mixture just to thicken it up a bit. I used fresh oregano and parsley which I think helps with the flavour. I may add some red pepper flakes next time or use 1/2 hot and 1/2 mild Italian sausage to give it a little kick. This was a hit in our house and my friends. I just wished I had found this recipe sooner.
I am clearly the minority with this recipe but I just wanted to warn anyone who hasn't used pecorino cheese before (like me prior to this recipe)....this was NOT a good recipe for me - completely due to the cheese. I don't know if my pecorino wasn't "mild" or what - but I basically spent $25 buying ingredients and had to throw it all away because the cheese was NOT good for me or my family. I would just recommend using a different cheese than the pecorino unless you KNOW you like it. I am sure the recipe would have been fine if I had used different cheese!