Search This Blog

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Big Fat Neapolitan Ziti al Forno (Baked Ziti)

This is my Big Fat Ziti al Forno for celebrations, parties, etc.... Its big, fat, and  filled with lots of wholesome bites of comforting goodness! Its very Neapolitan in that you use left over meatballs from a previous made ragu and a little this (salami) a little that (provolone)....... Its kind of a combo of my every day ziti al forno, gato', and Casatielle, all baked into one magnificent dish, Magnifico!
Preheat oven to 375
1 pound box big fat pasta like ziti or rigatoni
15 ounces whole milk ricotta (I like Pollyo)
a dusting of nutmeg
16 ounces mozzarella whole milk cubed not grated(I like Pollyo)
1/2 cup grated paremsan cheese (use the largest grate)
4-6 slices provolone diced
8 ounces salami cut up
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs  (My Zia used 2 eggs hard boiled and diced I use 2 raw eggs thanks to my friend Rita Gianinni Williamson's suggestion, either way its to help hold it all together)
3 cups left over Ragu sauce along with enough meatballs to make about 1 layer covering the pan (Cut the meatballs in half if they are large about 1 inch pieces)
Mixture before adding pasta.
a little pasta water
bread crumbs and olive oil for top
Boil pasta in very salty water, reserve about 1 cup of water and drain the pasta out
Coat a large lasagna pan in olive oil and make a light dusting of bread crumbs on the bottom
Mix all the ingredients except the pasta straight in to a bowl .
Add the pasta and enough pasta water to form a wet mixture and stir to combine.
Dump in the pan.
Make another light dusting of bread crumbs and drizzle olive oil all over top.
Cover in foil and bake 25 minutes.
Remove foil and bake until golden brown on top, another 15 minutes or so.

Ready for the oven aka al forno!


Brenda Christmas said...

I adore baked ziti! My problem now may be a sensitivity to gluten. Do you have a favorite gluten-free pasta that you could recommend? I've tried some that were decent and at least one that was inedible, but I can't remember which was which now!

Ann Minard said...

Yes Brenda! I've been working on one a long time and I have finally realized its best to go with something completely different rather than using replacements such GF pastas. I like spaghetti squash as a pasta alternative. I cook mine in a crock pot (cut in half with a little water)for a few hours on low.Then scrape out and use in any pasta recipes! It even works for lasagna! Yo can also use other veggies sliced thin like zucchini and eggplant.