Baked Ziti, sorta

  • 1 pound rigatoni (you can use ziti but all the ridges on the tube make it much better for more food bits to get stuck to it which is really what you want, food bits.)

  • 2 pounds ground hot Italian pork sausage

  • 1 small white onion, diced

  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 28 ounces canned diced tomatoes

  • 1 cup red wine

  • 1 pound ricotta cheese

  • 8 ounce container of pecorino cheese

  • 4 basil leaves, torn into little pieces

  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 1 pound of mozzarella, sliced or bought into about ten discs

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

2) Boil the pasta however the box says. Drain it and set aside

3) In a pot, saute pork over medium heat with some olive oil, salt and pepper

4) Once the pink is gone, add the onion. Saute for about five minutes until it becomes translucent. Add the garlic and saute for another minute until you can smell it

5) Add the diced tomatoes and red wine and crank the heat to high. Once it boils, bring it down to a simmer. Let this happen for at least ten minutes

6) In a big bowl, add the ricotta cheese and half the pecorino cheese. Stir and add the basil, paprika, salt and pepper until it’s well combined

7) Add the cooked pasta to the cheese mixture and stir it all together

8) Get a rectangularly shaped casserole dish and ladle a couple splashes of sauce on the bottom (I’m sorry for how many dishes you will clean but this will last for days so you won’t have to clean everything right away). Put half the pasta and cheese mixture in there, then top with half the tomato/sausage sauce and half the mozzarella discs. Then put the remaining pasta and cheese, follow by the rest of the tomato sauce and the rest of the mozzarella discs on top. Spread the mozzarella around and try to put it in different places than the previous layer

9) Finally, sprinkle the rest of the pecorino cheese on top with a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Throw it in the oven uncovered for 30-45 minutes. It’s done when the cheese is melty and the sauce is bubbling