Traditional recipes

Baked Ziti with Spicy Pork and Sausage Ragu

Baked Ziti with Spicy Pork and Sausage Ragu


  • 4 ounces thinly sliced pancetta, chopped
  • 2 pounds Boston butt (pork shoulder), cut into 1 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1 pound Italian hot sausages, casings removed
  • 6 large fresh thyme sprigs
  • 6 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 1 28-ounce can plum tomatoes in juice, tomatoes chopped, juice reserved
  • 2 cups (packed) coarsely grated whole-milk mozzarella cheese (about 8 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Recipe Preparation

  • Heat olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add pancetta and sauté until brown and crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to bowl. Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper. Add half of pork to drippings in pot; sauté until brown, about 7 minutes. Transfer to bowl with pancetta. Repeat with remaining pork. Add sausage to same pot. Sauté until no longer pink, breaking up with back of fork, about 5 minutes. Add onions, carrots, celery, thyme, garlic, bay leaves, and crushed red pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low; sauté until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Add wine and bring to boil, scraping up browned bits. Add pancetta and pork with any accumulated juices; boil 2 minutes. Add tomatoes with juice. Cover and cook until pork is very tender, adjusting heat as needed to maintain gentle simmer and stirring occasionally, about 2 hours.

  • Uncover pot; tilt to 1 side and spoon off fat from surface of ragù. Gently press pork pieces with back of fork to break up meat coarsely. Season ragù to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cool slightly. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and keep refrigerated. Rewarm over low heat before continuing.)

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter 15x10x2-inch glass baking dish or other 4-quart baking dish. Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain pasta; mix into ragù. Season mixture to taste with salt and pepper; transfer to prepared dish. Sprinkle both cheeses over. Bake until heated through and golden, about 20 minutes.

,Photos by Pornchai MittongtareReviews SectionThis is the definition of comfort food.AnonymousO’fallon, IL09/30/18

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Sunday Gravy and Baked Ziti

Publix Apron's Sausage and Artichoke Bolognese

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Melting Pot Casserole

Melting Pot Casserole

Easy As Can Be Pasticcio (Aida Mollenkamp)

Bake Ziti with Sweet Italian Sausage

I love a good meaty red sauce and the one in this recipe is divine! The Sweet Italian Sausage gives it so much flavor and contributes to the protein in this dish, helping you feel full. Yes, the sauce is made from scratch but the few extra minutes it takes is well worth it in the end. I first started making this dish 5 years ago and I can still remember my daughter who was one at the time, moaning while eating it because she loved it so much.

Rigatoni with Beef & Sausage Ragù

I don’t know about where you guys are, but there was a hint of fall in the air here this weekend. We turned off the air-conditioning and opened up all the windows, and I even had to don a long-sleeved shirt at the local fireman’s carnival on Friday night.

Needless to say, I was feeling something in the way of comfort food. And what better fits that bill than a big bowl of baked cheesy pasta? My girlfriend made this dish for me after we brought home our first son Andrew, over 5 years ago now. She drove all the way from Annapolis to come and make us this pasta, and share dinner with us. It quickly became a favorite in our home, and consequently my “go-to” baked pasta dish.

Ground beef and spicy Italian sausage is simmered in a rich tomato sauce, releasing all their meaty flavor into the sauce. Then at the end, a bit of heavy cream is stirred in…making it lighter in flavor, but yet richer at the same time. Layered with a bit of mozzarella cheese before baking, it’s becomes bubbly and crusty in the oven – everything that a baked pasta should be. Paired with a glass of red, a fresh green salad, and some crusty bread – it’s the perfect Sunday meal to gather your family around the table. We intend to enjoy every last day of summertime, but I’m definitely looking forward to that chill in the air being here to stay!

Rigatoni with Beef & Sausage Ragù

1 lb. rigatoni
2 Tbs. olive oil, plus more as needed
1 yellow onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. bulk sausage (Jimmy Dean Hot)
1/2 cup fresh parsley,chopped
2 tsp. dried oregano
1 (28 oz.) peeled and chopped tomatoes
1 cup heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/2 lb. whole-milk mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 cup grated Parmesan or aged Asiago cheese

Bring a large pot two-thirds full of salted water to a boil. Add the rigatoni, stir well and cook until al dente (tender but firm to the bite), about 15 minutes or according to the package instructions. Drain the rigatoni, place in a large bowl and toss with a little olive oil to prevent sticking. Set aside.

In the same pot, heat the 2 Tbs. olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the beef and cook, stirring to break up the meat, until no pink remains, about 10 minutes. Remove from pan and drain any remaining fat. Brown the sausage in the same pan, draining fat that has rendered during browning. Return the beef to the pan with the sausage. Add the parsley, oregano and tomatoes and stir well. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until the tomatoes break down and the flavors have melded, about 20 minutes.

Stir in the cream, raise the heat and return to a boil. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper.

Return the rigatoni to the pot with the sauce and toss to coat well.

Oil the bottom of a shallow 3-quart baking dish. Spread half of the pasta mixture in the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle with half of the mozzarella. Top with the remaining pasta, the remaining mozzarella and the Parmesan. Bake until the sauce is bubbly and the top is crusty and golden brown, about 35 minutes. Remove from the oven, let stand for about 5 minutes and serve.

Ziti and Zitoni Pasta

Quintessentially Neapolitan, Ziti or Zitoni are THE pasta for feasts and holidays in Campania. The famously sumptuous Neapolitan celebratory meals and family Sunday lunches are never forsaken, not even on the hottest day of the year. Traditions are important in this Southern Italian region, and on big holidays like ferragosto on 15 th August (when all of Italy is on holiday), there will always be a plate of zitoni or ziti on the table!

Zitoni and ziti are long dried pasta tubes, similar to giant bucatini. Zitoni are wider than ziti but both are 25cms in length. In Campania and other southern regions such as Puglia, this pasta is traditionally broken by hand, just before cooking. It is usually broken into 4 pieces but less or more are possible. So,why do Italians bother to break the pasta when there are plenty of shorter shapes available? Well it’s all about tradition and family.

Some ziti and zitoni history.

Ziti are an ancient type of pasta, born when there were not so many sizes to choose from and no cooking pots to fit this long pasta in! I have read two versions of the names’ origin. Firstly, that the name ‘ziti’ came from the word ‘zitelle’ meaning maid or single woman. This pasta was originally called ‘zite’ and was traditionally served at weddings, when the bride was, obviously, celebrating her change in status from ‘zitella’ to wife! Also connected to weddings, some food historians say traditionally the word ‘i zit’ means spouses. Irrespective of which belief is correct, even these days, ziti are often served as the first course for bridal banquets.

A family affair.

Apart from at weddings, Ziti were and are also served when celebrating a holiday or family occasion. In the past, it was customary for the women of the family to gather together to perform the ritual of ‘breaking’ the pasta for lunch (this still happens!). This was, and is, a task much enjoyed by children too everyone around the table preparing pasta that will soon be finished with the traditional holiday meat sauce, normally in Campania ‘ragu alla Napoletana’. This ragu is made with different types of meat, slow cooked in a tomato sauce.

Baked Ziti or Zitoni with spicy sausage

Nowadays, as more people become aware of the importance of diet and eating healthily, common sense has replaced some eating traditions. ‘Ferragosto’ falls on 15 th August when temperatures are generally high throughout Italy. Eating a heavy meat ‘ragu’ may not appeal to all at this time of year. Consequently, the meat ragu is no longer de rigueur. Many people now choose to make a lighter dish. However, the zitoni or ziti remain the pasta of choice for most!

Recipes for Ziti and Zitoni.

Other traditional ziti and zitoni recipes include the iconic ‘ragu alla Genovese’ a recipe that dates back to the 15th century when a group of Genovese-born chefs, said to have run restaurants near the port of Naples, started serving pasta with a sauce made from baked meat and onions. This is a very slow cooked sauce that takes up to 3-4 hours to make. However, It is worth the effort. It’s one of the best meat pasta sauces I know!

Ziti Pasta with la Genovese ragu

In addition to the most famous recipes mentioned above, there is also a simpler recipe originating from Neapolitan rural tradition, ‘gli ziti lardiati’, which was often prepared during the coldest periods of the year. Lardo (cured pork fat), the main ingredient of this dish, was once kept in salt in the poorest kitchens in the countryside where making use of every part of the pig was a necessity rather than a choice. This dish pairs lardo with onion, tomatoes and grated cheese, although each family is said to have its own special version.

Timballo of Ziti or Zitoni with mozzarella and eggplant.

Ziti and Zitoni are also perfectly suited to being served with a simple tomato sauce or in a vegetarian baked pasta dish or timballo with mozzarella, tomatoes and eggplant or other vegetables. Whichever way you cook it, I’m sure you will love this type of Southern Italian pasta. Nowadays, pasta makers have made it easier for cooks by producing already cut Ziti and Zitoni, However, if you can, buy the long ones. I often use long ones without breaking them, but you can also become Italian and enjoy ‘breaking’ them with your family!

  • 1 pound dry ziti, penne, or other tubular pasta
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 (28-ounce) can plus 1 (14-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock, or water
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 pound sweet or hot Italian sausage, removed from casing
  • 1 large onion, finely diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (about 4 teaspoons)
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup finely minced fresh parsley leaves, divided
  • 12 ounces high-quality ricotta cheese (see note)
  • 1 pound low-moisture whole-milk mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 3 ounces roughly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, divided

Place pasta in a large bowl and cover with hot water. Season generously with salt. Let rest, stirring twice during the first 10 minutes, while you prepare the other ingredients.

Use a hand blender or countertop blender to process tomatoes until mostly smooth, but still a little chunky. Set aside 3/4 cup of tomatoes. Combine remaining tomatoes, heavy cream, and chicken stock in a medium bowl. Season to taste with salt and set aside.

Heat oil and butter in a large straight-sided sauté pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, swirling, until butter is mostly melted. Add sausage and cook, mashing with a potato masher or a whisk, until sausage is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add onion and garlic, reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring frequently, until softened but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add oregano, red pepper flakes, and half of parsley and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add tomato and cream mixture to pan with sausage. Drain noodles in a large colander set in the sink, then add to pan and stir to combine. Stir in half of ricotta, then rapidly stir in half of mozzarella cheese. (Do not over-stir, or the mixture will stretch and stick to your spoon.) Spoon reserved 3/4 cup tomatoes over top of pasta. Dollop with remaining ricotta and scatter remaining mozzarella over top. Sprinkle with half of Parmigiano-Reggiano. Cover and cook over the lowest possible heat for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let rest, covered, for 5 minutes.

Uncover, sprinkle with remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano and parsley, and serve immediately.

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Ziti With Skillet Roasted Root Vegetables

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Offer this simple, hearty dish with a green salad, crusty garlic bread and .

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Serve this zesty pasta with a salad of tossed winter greens sprinkled with .

Here's a kind of mac and cheese without any effort. Adding goat cheese give .

Think of this flavorful medley as an antipasto pasta. Add sides like tomato .

19 ‘Sopranos’-Inspired Italian Recipes That Carmela Would Love

It took you a while to realize that &ldquoricot&rdquo meant ricotta pie and that &ldquogabagool&rdquo is Sicilian slang for capicola. But it did not take you long to realize just how important food is to The Sopranos universe. And while we may never know Carmela&rsquos long-held family recipe secrets, we&rsquove found some modern takes that will do just the trick. So gather your goomahs and capos, because these dishes will most definitely be a hit&mdashnot that kind of hit.

Baked pasta with broccoli rabe and sausage

Guys, I am in the weeds this month. After a summer of lazy, a summer of two vacations and a husband (eh, unpaid assistant) always around, making life fun and easy, a mess of busy (new job, work travel for him, book touring for me, a spate of solo parenting of each of us, new preschool, new babysitter, and very important birthday party allatonce) has descended on our recently idyllic lifestyle and, no, I am not handling it with the effortless grace you’ve come to expect from me. Quit laughing. Stop it. I could be effortless or graceful! I mean, there was that one time… Okay, fine. I’m handling it as predicted: with equal measures of bourbon and complaining on the internet. I never claimed to be a model human.

Once in a while, though, once in a sweet savior of a blue moon, I plan ahead and this time, it’s saving this page from flatlining, at least until I get my head back in the game. This dish is, in fact, one of my favorite new dinner recipes this year we loved it so much that I found it agonizing to wait so long to tell you about it. But it didn’t feel like the right season to post it when I made it (late this past spring). I wanted to save it for what I considered a more chaotic and comfort-demanding time of year, like September (even if the 92 degree weather today mocks my best laid plans).

It started as a hunt for my own take on a baked ziti. Although I would never, ever turn it away if you brought some by my apartment at about 5:55 this afternoon (I would probably leap into your arms and kiss you, which might be awkward, so consider yourself warned), traditional American-Italian baked ziti has never been my favorite thing because I’ve never much cared for the texture of baked ricotta, which seems to be in every recipe. And, while I love tomato sauce in all formats, it always feels a little clashy against the green vegetables I insist make pasta-for-dinner acceptable any night of the week. No, I realized my dream baked ziti would probably not be ziti at all (I think other chunky pastas pick up sauce better), but a chunky, craggy deconstructed lasagna with all of the important parts played up — browned crunchy edges for miles, hearty chunks of sausage and thick green vegetables.

I made a big old pan of this before the last book tour, to help get the boys through the week. I made another one the week before we went to Rome, when we didn’t want to load up on groceries that would go to waste, and we brought the last portions to the airport, for a so-much-better-than-airplane dinner. I did not, unfortunately, stash some in my freezer before this week began but if you’re having a week or month like we are, or maybe it’s just getting cool enough where you are to consider rib-sticking but not gut-weighing food again, you should make this beast happen.

Related: This dish has some ingredients in common with Pasta with Garlicky Broccoli Rabe weeknight staple. Previously, in the baked pasta department: Baked Rigatoni with Tiny Meatballs, Lasagna Bolognese, Mushroom Lasagna and last year’s Baked Orzo with Eggplant and Mozzarella

Baked Pasta with Broccoli Rabe and Sausage

Important: This is my dream of a baked pasta dish — not too heavy, not to rich or gooey, tons of crunchy edges. As you might see in the photos above, it’s on the firm side. If you’d like a baked pasta with more sauce, which I expect most of you will, you’ll want to use 1 1/2 times the bechamel and cheese below.

Broccoli rabe (also called raab or rapini) is a leafy green vegetable with buds that somewhat resemble broccoli. It’s slightly bitter and holds up well to cooking. If you can’t find it, regular broccoli or broccolini will work here as well they will only need 3 and 2 minutes respectively of boiling time with the pasta to keep it semi-crisp. If you’d like to make this without meat, the sausage can definitely be omitted. You could add some lightly sauteed chunky brown mushrooms for extra bulk, as well.

The pasta shape I used here is called toscani and it’s from the brand Seggiano. I have found it at Whole Foods and, if you’re in the East Village, Commodities Natural Market on 1st Ave. (plus I’m sure other stores). When I can’t get, it I use Barilla’s similar campanelle or seriously any chunky pasta you like to bake with.

Pasta and assembly
1 pound chunky pasta of your choice (I love bell shapes see above for details)
1 bundle broccoli rabe (see above for options), stems and leaves cut into 1-inch segments
1 pound Italian sausage (sweet or spicy pork or chicken), casings removed
2/3 cup grated parmesan or pecorino romano cheese
6 ounces mozzarella, cut into small cubes

2 cups milk, full fat is ideal
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon table salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
Few gratings fresh nutmeg

Cook the pasta and rabe: Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add pasta and five minutes before its cooking time is up, add the broccoli rabe. It will seem like too much for the water, but with a stir or two, the rabe should wilt and cook alongside the pasta. Drain the broccoli rabe and pasta together and place in a large bowl.

Cook your sausage: Meanwhile, heat 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large, wide saucepan (you will use this for the bechamel in a few minutes you could also use your pasta pot, once it is drained) over medium heat. When hot, add the sausage, breaking it up with a wooden spoon until it starts to brown, about five minutes. Remove with slotted spoon or spatula, leaving any fat behind. Eyeball the drippings (pork sausage will leave some chicken usually does not) — use one tablespoon less butter next if it looks like there’s a tablespoon there. Any less, don’t worry about adjusting the butter.

Make the bechamel: Melt your butter in same saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, add your flour and stir it into the butter until smooth. Cook the mixture together for a minute, stirring constantly. Pour in a small drizzle of your milk, whisking constantly into the butter-flour mixture until smooth. Continue to drizzle a very small amount at a time, whisking constantly. Once you’ve added a little over half of your milk, you’ll find that you have more of a thick sauce or batter, and you can start adding the milk in larger splashes, being sure to keep mixing. Once all of the milk is added, add the salt, garlic, nutmeg, and few grinds of black pepper, and bring the mixture to a lower simmer and cook it, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.

Assemble and bake: Add the sausage and bechamel to the bowl with the pasta and broccoli rabe. Stir in mozzarella and half of grated parmesan or pecorino until combined. Pour into a lasagna pan, deep 9吉-inch baking dish* or 3-quart casserole dish and coat with remaining parmesan or pecorino. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until the edges and craggy points are nicely bronzed.

Eat warm. Reheat as needed.

* I love this so much, I’ve bought two, and it’s usually crazy inexpensive.

Baked Spaghetti Casserole With Sausage

  • Author: Kim Seghers
  • Prep Time: 20 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 Minutes
  • Total Time: 45 Minutes
  • Yield: 8 Servings 1 x


Baked Spaghetti Casserole With Sausage is an easy and delicious dinner option that the whole family will love.


  • 1 – 24 oz. Jar Spaghetti Sauce (we used Ragu Chunky Pasta Sauce with tomato, garlic, & onion) If you like your spaghetti saucy use 2 jars.
  • 2 lbs. Italian Sausage
  • 1 Small Diced Onion
  • 1 tablespoon Minced Garlic
  • 1 Ib. Spaghetti Noodles
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Garlic Powder to your liking
  • 1 tablespoon Butter
  • 3 Cups Kraft Italian Five Cheese Blend Shredded Cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Boil noodles according to package. Drain water and set aside.
  3. Brown Italian Sausage then drain the grease. Cook sausage while pasta is cooking.
  4. Melt one tablespoon butter in skillet. Saute onions and garlic until tender on low heat.
  5. Add the spaghetti noodles, veggies, and sausage together. Mix in 1 cup of cheese.
  6. Stir in spaghetti sauce. Place the pasta and meat mixture into a 9合 baking dish.
  7. Cover the spaghetti noodles and meat mixture with the remaining 2 cups of cheese.
  8. Bake in the oven on 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until the pasta is heated all the way through and the cheese is melted, and hot and bubbly.
  9. Serve while hot. Enjoy!


You can use Italian Seasoning if you like.

Use more pasta sauce if needed.

You could add sliced mushrooms and diced bell peppers to the recipe too.

Keywords: easy recipe, pasta, spaghetti, casserole, supper, dinner, sausage, cheese, noodles, baked spaghetti