Saturday, August 4, 2012

Carmela Soprano's Ziti al Forno / Baked Ziti with Tiny Meatballs


Ah!  Ziti al Forno!
It's perfect for a holiday dinner.
Like the August long weekend or Labor Day.

This recipe, in The Sopranos Family Cookbook's Feeding My Family chapter, 
is another macaroni and cheese dish.
But, what a macaroni and cheese dish!
It has little meatballs!


Ziti al Forno can be proudly served at any big family gathering.

But, be warned:
It can't be thrown together at the last minute.
The Tomato Sauce should be prepared in advance.
Yes, the meal in itself, Sunday Gravy recipe.
A day before would be nice.
The Ziti al Forno can be prepared and refrigerated overnight.
Happy Holidays!!!


Want a meatless dish?
Try Carmela's Vegetarian Baked Ziti.


                        Ziti al Forno

Serves 8-12

Remove the meats from the Tomato Sauce.
Set the pork, veal, and sausage aside for the second course, or for another meal.


In a large pot, bring at least 4 quarts of water to a boil.
Add
1 pound ziti
Salt to taste
Cook, stirring frequently, until the ziti is al dente.
Drain the ziti and put it in a large bowl. 

Toss ziti with 
3 Cups of the sauce  
1/2 Cup grated Romano or Parmigiano
Stir in the meatballs.


Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Spoon half the ziti into a shallow 3 1⁄2 quart baking dish. 
Spread on top 
1 cup ricotta
Sprinkle with 
8 ounces mozzarella, diced
1/4 Cup grated Romano or Parmigiano
Pour on 
1 Cup of the sauce 
Top with 
the remaining ziti  
1 Cup of the sauce 
Sprinkle with 
1/4 Cup grated Romano or Parmigiano
Cover the dish with foil. 

The ziti can be refrigerated for several hours at this point. 
Remove from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before baking.
       
Bake the ziti, covered, for 45 minutes. 
Uncover and bake for 15 to 30 minutes longer, or until the sauce is bubbling. 
Cover and let stand for 15 minutes before serving.


Would I make Ziti al Forno again?
Sure.
If the gang's not coming over, I'd freeze it in smaller portions.
Great for a last minute dinner.
Leftovers are also good straight from the fridge. 
Just sayin'...


One recipe down.  Ninety-three more to go.   

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