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Baked Ziti with Ricotta and Ham


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  • 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)


Preparation time 60mins
Cooking time 120mins


Step 1

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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