Rachel Ray's baked ziti recipe uses Italian sausage, fresh herbs, fennel seed, olive oil and plenty of cheese. The recipe can be made a day ahead of time and placed in the oven the next day for a no fuss family dinner.
Rachel Ray is an award-winning daytime television host, a celebrated cook, author and animal lover. Her recipes are designed to be tasty, while still easy enough for even the beginner cook to prepare. The recipe below for her baked ziti serves six.
Rachel Ray's Baked Ziti
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cook Time: 1 hr.
Ready In: 1 hr. 15 min.
- 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp. fennel seed
- 1/2 lb. ground beef
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 lb. hot or sweet Italian sausage
- 3 tbsp. rosemary, chopped
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1/2 cup dry red or white wine
- 2 (38-3 oz.) cans San Marzano tomatoes
- 1 cup beef stock
- 1 lb. ziti rigate
- 1 lb. fresh mozzarella
- 1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
- Prepare pasta water
- Prepare the meats
- Add herbs and seasonings
- De-glaze the pan
- Prepare the pasta
- Top and bake
Place a large pot of water over high heat and bring to a boil.
Place the extra-virgin olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Heat on medium-to high and add fennel seed, Italian sausage, ground beef, salt and pepper. Brown the meat and crumble into small pieces.
Add onion, rosemary and garlic to the meat mixture and cook partially covered for 5 to 7 minutes or until the onion has softened.
Add a little wine to the pan to deglaze the tomatoes and stock. Allow to simmer for 30 minutes.
Add pasta to boiling water and cook for 6 minutes or until close to al dente. Drain the pasta and toss with the sauce and pour the entire contents into a casserole dish.
Top the casserole with grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and cubed mozzarella. Bake at 400 F for 20 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly.