Friday, January 29, 2010

Claudia's Baked Ziti




Describing food can be so challenging at times.

Yeah, yeah talk about depth of flavor, ease of preparation.
How the meatiness of something tickles the fancy of something else in the dish and it all comes together in one big explosion…your taste buds are flipping out…

Whatever.

Well, as far as this Baked Ziti goes, it has all of the above but why bother when one word describes it.

Outstanding.


This recipe is from a dear friend who is new to the blogging world and has taken on Beard on Bread by James Beard and is baking her way through it.

Check her out here.

And check out those fabulous bowls the bread is rising in.

Her husband is a potter extraordinaire.

Check him out here.

And then start your ziti.


Claudia’s Baked Ziti
With a bit of adaptation by me

1 lb. ziti (cook as directed on package, drain)
1 lb. sweet Italian sausage , removed from casing
1 lb. fresh mozzarella cheese, grated
1 lb. ricotta cheese
1 C parmesan reggiano, cheese
2 eggs
6 fat garlic cloves, chopped
I large yellow onion, chopped
½ large fennel bulb, chopped
A couple of dashes crushed red pepper flakes
Fresh Italian parsley, chopped for garnish
28 oz. plum tomatoes
½ cup red wine


Preheat oven to 375.

Combine eggs, ricotta and parmesan.

In a large skillet, heat a couple of good swirls extra virgin olive oil til wavy. Add the Italian sausage and cook until brown. Remove from pan and set aside on paper towel to drain. Add onion, crushed red pepper flakes and fennel to the pan and cook til golden. Add the garlic and cook about five minutes. Add red wine and let cook down to half and then add tomatoes. Cook for about 30 minutes until reduced, thick and yummy. Add the cooked Italian sausage and season with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Layer into lasagna pan starting with sausage and tomato sauce, then cooked ziti, parmesan mix and mozzarella. Repeat using up all ingredients and ending with sauce and top that with mozzarella.

.
Bake covered for 1 hour, uncover last 10 minutes to brown top a little. Sprinkle chopped Italian parsley on top for garnish and enjoy.

Serves 6 generously.

Click here for a printable recipe.

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2 comments:

Sophie said...

Hello dear friend!!

What a tasty & fabulous looking Italian inspired meal!!

I so love this!! MMMMMMMMM,....

Nicki said...

Beard on Bread -- we made a loaf from this tonight! It's a great little cookbook, and cooking your way through it is a wonderful way to pass the winter.