This hearty dish is a favorite of dads and kids alike. Make it for your pap this Father's Day.
Baked Ziti with Ricotta and Ham
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (plus more to grease dish)
- 1 pound cooked Italian ham (preferably Parmacotto, cut into 1/2-inch cubes)
- 1 onion (cut into 1/4-inch dice)
- 1 small carrot (cut into 1/4-inch dice)
- 1 rib celery (thinly sliced)
- 1 Cup dry red wine
- 1 1/2 CupsBasic Tomato Sauce
- 1 1/2 pounds ziti
- 2 CupsBesciamella
- 8 ounces Pecorino Fresco cheese (cut into small dice)
- 1/2 Cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (plus more to garnish)
- 1 pound Ricotta
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Add the olive oil to a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven and place over high heat. Once hot, add the ham cubes and brown for 5 to 6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the onion, carrot, 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. Remove from heat and keep warm.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease a round 12-inch deep pie dish or a 9"x9" baking dish with olive oil.
- 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 4 minutes. Drain the par-cooked ziti and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Then add the Besciamella sauce, Pecorino and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheeses to the bowl. Toss to coat the pasta and melt the cheese.
- To the prepared baking dish, add a layer of the cheesy ziti. Next, add a few dollops of ricotta and top with a layer of the meat ragu. Use remaining ingredients and repeat layers, with the last layer being ricotta and pasta.
- Place in the oven to bake for 25-30 minutes, until bubbling and heated through. Turn the oven to broil to make the top golden brown and crispy.
- Remove and let cool slightly. Serve with freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano on top.