Baked Ziti With Tomato, Mozzarella and Sausage
photo by skat5762
- Ready In:
- 1hr 20mins
- 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.
Questions & Replies
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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!
DH and I had this dish for dinner last night. We really enjoyed it. I loved the hot, spicy flavor of the Italian sausage and all of the decadent cheese. I only had 1 pound of sausage, so that's what I used and I think I used a 28 oz (versus 35 oz) can of plum tomatoes because that is also what I had on hand. Otherwise, we did not change a thing. We served this with baked Italian bread, sprinkled with Pecorino cheese. Thanks for this recipe.
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Very good, I made this at a friends house and it was a hit, I had to sub parmesan for the pecorino because I could not find any. I also used 4 medium tomatoes instead of 40, this has to be a typo, and threw in 8 oz of sliced mushrooms, other than that I followed the recipe exactly - delicious! I served this with a salad and Mean Chef's Buttermilk Honey Bread.
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