Baked Pasta With Ricotta

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Baked pasta recipe with ricotta.

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Baked Pasta with Ricotta & Ham

Baked Pasta with Ricotta & Ham

Pasticcio di Maccheroni

Serve this dish hot or tiepido, at room temperature.

Ingredients

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 pound Italian cooked ham, preferably parmacotto, cut into 12-inch cubes

Salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 small carrot, cut into 14-inch dice

1onion, cut into 14-inch dice

1 rib celery, thinly sliced

1 cup dry red wine 1 cups Basic Tomato Sauce 1 pounds ziti 1 pound fresh ricotta 8 ounces caciotta or hard provolone, cut into small dice

cup freshly grated Parmigiano-ReggianoPreparations

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.

2. 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.

3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450F. Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot, and add 2 tablespoons salt.

4. Cook the ziti in the boiling water for 1 minute less than the package directions, until still very al dente. While the pasta is cooking, place the ricotta in a small bowl and stir in a ladle of the pasta cooking water to "melt" it.

5. Drain the pasta and add it to the bowl with the meat. Add the ricotta, caciotta, and tomato sauce and stir to combine.

6. Grease a round 12-inch deep pie dish or a casserole with olive oil. Place a ladleful of the cheese and sauce mixture in the bottom of the dish, followed by a layer of the pasta and meat mixture. Sprinkle 2 to 3 tablespoons of the Parmigiano over, then repeat with another layer of the cheese and sauce mixture, then pasta and meat, and Parmigano. Continue until all the ingredients are used up.

7. Bake for 25 minutes, until bubbling and heated through. Serve in warmed pasta bowls.

Makes 8 servingsBasic Tomato Sauce

Pasta Sfoglia

Ingredients

14 cup extra-virgin olive oil 1 Spanish onion, cut into 14-inch dice

4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme 12 medium carrot, finely shredded

Two 28-ounce cans whole tomatoes Salt

Preparations

1. In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft and light golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the thyme and carrot and cook until the carrot is quite soft, about 5 minutes.

2. Add the tomatoes, with their juice, and bring to a boil, stirring often. Lower the heat and simmer until as thick as hot cereal, about 30 minutes. Season with salt. The sauce can be refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for 6 months .

Makes 4 cups

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