Baked Ziti with Ricotta and Ham

Photo by Joyce F.

PREP TIME

60

minutes

TOTAL TIME

120

minutes

SERVINGS

--

servings

PREP TIME

60

minutes

TOTAL TIME

120

minutes

SERVINGS

--

servings

Ingredients

  • 3

    tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  • 1

    pound Italian Cooked Ham Preferably Parmacotto (cut into 1/2-inch cubes)

  • Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper

  • 1

    small Carrot (cut into 1/4-inch dice)

  • 1

    rib Celery (thinly sliced)

  • 1

    cup Dry Red Wine

  • 1 1/2

    cups Basic Tomato Sauce

  • 1 1/2

    pound Ziti

  • 8

    ounce Pecorino Fresco (cut into small dice)

  • 1

    pound Ricotta

  • 1/2

    cup Freshly Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

  • 2

    cups Besciamella

  • 1

    onion (diced)

Directions

In a dutch oven, heat the olive oil over high heat until smoking. Add the ham cubes and brown for 5 to 6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the carrot, onion, and celery and cook until the vegetables are golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add the wine, bring to a boil, and cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and cook until the meat is just about falling apart, about 50 minutes. Transfer the meat to a large bowl. Keep the sauce warm. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350F. Bring 6 quarts of a water to a boil in a large pot and add 2 tablespoons salt. Cook the ziti in the boiling water for 1 minute less than package directions, until still very al dente. Transfer the cooked ziti to a large mixing. Add besciamella and pecorino and stir to combine and melt cheese. Grease a round 12-inch deep pie dish or a casserole with olive oil. Add a layer of the ziti. Next add a few dollops of ricotta, topped with a layer of the meat ragu. Repeat these layers until all the ingredients are used up, try for the top layer to be ricotta and pasta. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until bubbling and heated through. Serve in warmed pasta bowls with parmigiano garnish.

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