from Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy
1 batch meatballs (recipe below)
1 pound ziti
6 cups fresh marinara sauce or 2 jars good quality tomato sauce
1 2 lb tub whole milk ricotta
2 cups shredded mozzarella
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup grated Romano cheese
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, sliced into thin pieces
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Bring a large pot, filled with water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. You want the pasta to be a little firm because you will be baking it later. Drain pasta and set aside.
Break up the meatballs into bite sized pieces and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the tomato sauce, ricotta and 1/2 of each of the cheeses and mix well. Add the cooked ziti and meatballs and toss it all together.
In a large greased baking dish, pour in pasta mixture. Sprinkle the rest of the mozzarella, Parmesan, and Romano cheeses all over the top. Dot with the butter. Place baking dish on top of baking sheet to catch any drips. Bake until top is golden brown and bubbly, about 30 to 40 minutes.
My Almost-Famous Meatballs
1 lb. ground chuck
1 lb. ground veal
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium sweet onion, coarsely grated
1/2 c. flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 c. bread crumbs
1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese
2 eggs, beaten
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix all of the meatball ingredients in a large bowl until combined. Do not overhandle or the meatballs will be tough. The mixture should be moist, but hold together. If the mixture appears too wet, add more bread crumbs, a little at a time. If it is too dry, add a little more milk.
Form into balls, about 2 inches in diameter. You should get 18-20 meatballs out of this recipe.
Place meatballs in a shallow baking sheet and bake until they start to get browned, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside until ready to add to the ziti.