Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Anna's All Afternoon Baked Ziti

It doesn't really take all afternoon but it tastes like it did. This is an award winning recipe from my Allentown, PA days.

1 lb Ground Chuck
1/2 lb Lean Ground Pork
1/3 cup Italian seasoned dry bread crumbs

1/2 tsp Salt
1/8 tsp Black Pepper
1 Egg
Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 Medium Eggplant, pared and diced (under 1 lb)
1/2 cup Olive Oil
1 Large Can (35 oz) Italian Plum Tomatoes (Undrained)
1 Can (6 oz) Tomato Paste
1 Clove Garlic, Pressed
1 tsp Sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp basil leaves
1/4 tsp oregano leaves
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
2 tbls salt
4-6 quarts Boiling Water
1 lb Ziti
1 lb Ricotta Cheese
1/2 lb Mozzarella Cheese, sliced

1/4 cup Flour
1/4 cup Butter, melted
2 cups Milk
1 tsp Salt
Dash Pepper
1 tbls Minced Onion

1. Have butcher grind chuck and pork together to mix well and then separate into 1lb and 1/s lb portions.
2. Mix together 1 lb of meat with bread crumbs, 1/2 tsp salt, black pepper, egg, and 1 tbs Parmesan cheese.
3. Shape into 1/2 inch meat balls and set aside.
4. In large saucepan, saute eggplant in oil until lightly browned, adding more oil is necessary and remove eggplant.
5. In same pan, brown meat balls and remove.
6. Brown remaining 1/2 lb meat and add tomatoes, paste, garlic, sugar, 3/4 tsp salt, basil, oregano and red pepper.
7. Simmer covered for 30 minutes.
8. Uncover and simmer for another 3o minutes, stirring occasionally.
9. Add eggplant and meatballs.
10. Meanwhile, add 2 tbls. salt to rapidly boiling water and cook pasta until al dente.
11. While pasta is boiling, prepare sauce. In saute pan, blend flour with melted butter until smooth, gradually stir in milk, salt, pepper and minced onion. Bring to boil, stirring occasionally for about a minute.
12. After draining pasta, make a layer of the ziti in a buttered 5 quart baking dish; add half of tomato-eggplant-meat sauce; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese; Top with Ricotta, Mozzarella slices and white sauce; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
13. Add remaining ziti and tomato-eggplant-meat sauce and another sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.
14. Bake in 375 degree oven for 25 minutes or until bubbling hot.

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