I was in my kitchen today working on my November News Letter recipes and I came across these recipes in one of my legal pads in the kitchen. A few years ago I received a request for a Baked Ziti recipe. I remember when I got this email, I thought its a pretty simple recipe and what my spin would be on it. Here is what I came up with, I hope you enjoy it.
5 lb of Ziti pasta cooked ali dente
3 LB Ricotta Cheese
2 lb of mozzarella cheese
2 quarts of homemade marinara sauce
2 8oz packages of mascarpone cheese
1 lb of Italian sausage, sliced
1 lb of Porcini mushrooms, sliced
2 cups parmesan cheese
6 cloves of garlic. minced
2 shallots, diced
1/4 cup of fresh chop Italian parsley
1/4 cup ribbon sliced basil
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
Salt and pepper to taste
You will need a large deep baking dish, I used a 17 inch by 12 inches by 5-inch pan.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
In a skillet over medium-high heat melt 1 tablespoon of butter, next, add the shallots and saute until soft. Remove from heat and add the garlic, and thyme and set aside.
In another skillet over med-high heat and the remaining butter and the mushrooms and saute until tender, drain any liquid, place mushrooms in a bowl and set aside. In the same skillet crisp up the sausage, drain fat and set aside.
In a large bowl place the ricotta and mascarpone cheese and the eggs and whisk until combined. Next stir in the basil, then saute shallots mixture and half the parsley.
Now in the large pan layer in the ziti, ricotta cheese mixture, the mushrooms, half of the parmesan cheese, and sausage. Stir to combine. Next pour in the marinara sauce and half of the mozzarella and stir to combine. Over the top sprinkle the remaining cheeses and parsley, Cover in foil and bake for one hour. Then remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes until the cheese starts to brown.