Fabio Viviani's Baked Ziti With Italian Sausage Ragu
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 4 oz. thinly sliced pancetta, chopped
- 2 lb. hot Italian sausages
- 1 yellow onion - diced
- 1 carrot - diced
- 1 celery stalk - diced
- 5 fresh oregano sprigs
- 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ tsp. dried crushed red pepper
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 x 28-oz can San Marzano tomatoes - crushed
- 1 lb. ziti pasta
- 2 cups fontina cheese – grated
- 1 tbsp. butter
- Heat oil in a heavy bottom large pot over medium-high heat. Add pancetta and sauté until brown and crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer to a plate. Add sausage to same pot. Sauté until no longer pink, breaking up with a flat end wooden spoon, about 5 minutes. Add onions, carrots, celery, oregano, garlic, bay leaf and crushed red pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low; sauté until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
- Add the wine and bring to a simmer scrapping up all the browned bits from the bottom. Add the pancetta back to the pot together with the tomatoes and partially cover with a lid.
- Allow the sauce to simmer for 2 hours stirring often and adding a little bit of water if necessary. Season the ragu to taste with salt and pepper and discard the bay leaf.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain pasta and toss it with the sausage ragu.
- Grease a baking dish with the butter then transfer the pasta in it and sprinkle it with the fontina cheese. Bake until heated through and golden brown on top, about 20 minutes.
For more information on Fabio, and his newsletter "Fabio's Kitchen Academy," go to his website: www.fabioviviani.com.