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BAKED ZITI AND LASAGNA INSPIRED BY THE SOPRANOS

cook:

1 h

Picture for Baked Ziti and Lasagna inspired by The Sopranos

6,973,878 views  Rarely does food play such a central character in a TV show or movie that's not specifically about food, but in The Sopranos, it might as well be one of the family. The crown jewel of which, despite Artie Bucco's hapless attempts, is the cuisine of Carmela Soprano. Strap on your gold President and build a ramp for the ducks, because it's time to emotionally repress our murderous mentality with some cheesy, saucy pasta - with a layer of basil underneath the cheese, of course.

4 servings

US

original

metric

INGREDIENTS

For the Tomato Sauce:

For the Tomato Sauce:

Extra virgin olive oil

Extra virgin olive oil

large onion, chopped

1 large onion, chopped

crushed garlic

6 cloves crushed garlic

ground beef

1 pound ground beef

sweet italian sausage (casing removed)

1 pound sweet italian sausage (casing removed)

Tomato paste

1 ½ tbsp Tomato paste

28oz San Marzano tomatoes (lightly crushed)

4 cans 28oz San Marzano tomatoes (lightly crushed)

parmesan cheese rind

1 parmesan cheese rind

stem basil

1 whole stem basil

Chopped basil, to taste

Chopped basil, to taste

Kosher salt

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Freshly ground black pepper

For the Carmella’s Lasagna

For the Carmella’s Lasagna

lasagna noodles

1 package lasagna noodles

Tomato sauce (see above)

Tomato sauce (see above)

Ricotta cheese

Ricotta cheese

parmesan cheese, grated

½ ounce parmesan cheese, grated

Basil leaves

Basil leaves

Thinly sliced fresh mozzarella cheese

Thinly sliced fresh mozzarella cheese

Kosher salt

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Freshly ground black pepper

For the Carmella’s Baked Ziti

For the Carmella’s Baked Ziti

ziti noodles

1 pound ziti noodles

Tomato sauce (see above)

Tomato sauce (see above)

Mozzarella cheese  chunks)

1 inch Mozzarella cheese chunks)

Ricotta cheese

Ricotta cheese

Parmesan cheese, grated

Parmesan cheese, grated

For the For Babish’s Baked Rigatoni

For the For Babish’s Baked Rigatoni

rigatoni noodles

1 pound rigatoni noodles

low moisture, full fat mozzarella cheese (1/2 inch chunks)

8 ounces low moisture, full fat mozzarella cheese (1/2 inch chunks)

low moisture full fat mozzarella cheese (shredded)

½ pound low moisture full fat mozzarella cheese (shredded)

cottage cheese

16 ounces cottage cheese

eggs

2 whole eggs

parmesan cheese, grated

3 ounces parmesan cheese, grated

Nutmeg, grated

Nutmeg, grated

Basil, chopped

Basil, chopped

Tomato sauce (see above)

Tomato sauce (see above)

Béchamel sauce (see below)

Béchamel sauce (see below)

For the bechamel sauce

For the bechamel sauce

butter (melted)

3 tbsp butter (melted)

flour

3 tbsp flour

milk

2 cups milk

DIRECTIONS

1.

For the Tomato Sauce Method

1.

In a dutch oven, give a generous pour of extra virgin olive oil and bring to a simmer over medium heat.

Extra virgin olive oil

Extra virgin olive oil

2.

Add large chopped onion and stir until soft and translucent.

large onion, chopped

1 large onion, chopped

3.

Add crushed garlic and sauté for an additional minute until fragrant.

crushed garlic

6 cloves crushed garlic

4.

Next, set aside your onion and garlic and cook your beef and sausage in batches until it is brown and crumbly.

ground beef

1 pound ground beef

sweet italian sausage (casing removed)

1 pound sweet italian sausage (casing removed)

5.

Drain off most of the fat and add the garlic and onion back into the pot. Then, add a tomato paste.

Tomato paste

1 ½ tbsp Tomato paste

6.

Add San Marzano tomatoes (lightly crushed) to the pot. Stir to combine.

28oz San Marzano tomatoes (lightly crushed)

4 cans 28oz San Marzano tomatoes (lightly crushed)

7.

For moisture, fill one of your tomato cans with water and add to the pot.

8.

Add parmesan cheese rind as well as stem of basil to the pot. Cover the pot and bring to a simmer.

parmesan cheese rind

1 parmesan cheese rind

stem basil

1 whole stem basil

9.

Once the sauce is bubbling, stir and partially cover the pot and reduce the heat to about as low as your stove will go. Simmer for 1 ½ hours, keep the sauce bubbling, and stir occasionally.

10.

Once the sauce is melded, scrape down the sides of the pot to add more flavor.

11.

Add some chopped basil to the pot and season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cover and set aside the sauce for later recipes.

Chopped basil, to taste

Chopped basil, to taste

Kosher salt

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Freshly ground black pepper

12.

For the Carmella’s Lasagna Method

1.

The pasta should be slightly undercooked and almost crunchy, so boil your lasagna noodles for no more than 4 minutes. Then, immediately move them into a pot or bowl of nice and cool water to pause the cooking process.

lasagna noodles

1 package lasagna noodles

2.

Lay each noodle out on a lint-free kitchen towel. Set aside for later.

3.

Take an aluminum foil lasagna pan and fill with a healthy layer of sauce to prevent noodles from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Tomato sauce (see above)

Tomato sauce (see above)

4.

Lay down your first layer of pasta and make sure that all of the gaps are filled. In addition, make sure to flip the pattern every layer to maintain the lasagna’s structure.

5.

Spread a generous amount of ricotta cheese on top of the noodles and add grated parmesan cheese.

Ricotta cheese

Ricotta cheese

parmesan cheese, grated

½ ounce parmesan cheese, grated

6.

Next, add a layer of basil leaves and a layer of thinly sliced fresh mozzarella cheese.

Basil leaves

Basil leaves

Thinly sliced fresh mozzarella cheese

Thinly sliced fresh mozzarella cheese

7.

Top it off with another layer of sauce and then repeat steps 4-6 until the pan is completely full.

8.

On the final layer, spread a generous coating of sauce and a generous grating of parmesan cheese. Then, add a little bit of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Tomato sauce (see above)

Tomato sauce (see above)

parmesan cheese, grated

parmesan cheese, grated

Kosher salt

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Freshly ground black pepper

9.

Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and place in a 350°F oven for 30 minutes.

10.

Once 30 minutes has passed, take the lasagna out of the oven, uncover the pan, and place back into the oven for 15-30 minutes, or until brown and bubbly on top.

11.

Let sit for at least 15 minutes before digging in.

12.

For the Carmella’s Baked Ziti Method

1.

Cook ziti noodles to very al dente for no more than 5 minutes. Pour your pasta into a large bowl and toss with your tomato sauce and mix accordingly.

ziti noodles

1 pound ziti noodles

Tomato sauce (see above)

1 ½ cups Tomato sauce (see above)

2.

Into an aluminum pan, pour and spread about half of your pasta over the bottom of the pan.

3.

Spread some ricotta cheese on top of the pasta as evenly as possible and add your ½ inch chunks of mozzarella cheese on top. Then, add grated parmesan cheese.

Ricotta cheese

Ricotta cheese

Mozzarella cheese  chunks)

1 inch Mozzarella cheese chunks)

Parmesan cheese, grated

¾ oz Parmesan cheese, grated

4.

Add the remaining half of your ziti and spread it out nice and even. Make sure none of the cheese is exposed.

5.

Top the pan off with a cup or two of sauce and grated parmesan cheese.

Parmesan cheese, grated

¾ oz Parmesan cheese, grated

6.

Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and place in a 350°F oven for 30 minutes.

7.

Once 30 minutes has passed, take the ziti out of the oven, uncover the pan, and place back into the oven for 15-20 minutes until browned, crispy, and bubbly on top.

8.

For the Babish Baked Rigatoni Method

1.

Boil ziti noodles until cooked al dente.

rigatoni noodles

1 pound rigatoni noodles

2.

In a bowl, add cottage cheese, whole eggs, grated parmesan cheese, and optionally, add some freshly grated nutmeg. Mix accordingly.

cottage cheese

16 ounces cottage cheese

eggs

2 whole eggs

parmesan cheese, grated

2 ounces parmesan cheese, grated

Nutmeg, grated

Nutmeg, grated

3.

Add some chopped basil in bite-size pieces to the bowl and mix. Set aside for later.

Basil, chopped

Basil, chopped

4.

Pour tomato sauce (method above), your pan of Béchamel sauce (see below), and your cottage cheese, egg, parmesan, and basil mixture to the pasta. Stir.

Tomato sauce (see above)

1 ½ cups Tomato sauce (see above)

Béchamel sauce (see below)

Béchamel sauce (see below)

5.

Then, add low moisture full fat mozzarella cheese (½ inch chunks) and mix until all of the ingredients are evenly dispersed.

low moisture, full fat mozzarella cheese (1/2 inch chunks)

8 ounces low moisture, full fat mozzarella cheese (1/2 inch chunks)

6.

Pour into an aluminum pan and top with tomato sauce. Top it off with shredded low moisture full fat mozzarella cheese and grated parmesan cheese.

Tomato sauce (see above)

1 ½ cups Tomato sauce (see above)

low moisture full fat mozzarella cheese (shredded)

½ pound low moisture full fat mozzarella cheese (shredded)

parmesan cheese, grated

1 ounces parmesan cheese, grated

7.

Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and place in a 350°F oven for 30 minutes.

8.

Once 30 minutes has passed, take the rigatoni out of the oven, uncover the pan, and place back into the oven for 15-20 minutes until browned, crispy, and bubbly around the edges.

9.

For the Bechamel Sauce Method

1.

Into a medium saucepan, add melted butter and flour. Whisk together and cook for 1 minute before slowly streaming in milk.

butter (melted)

3 tbsp butter (melted)

flour

3 tbsp flour

milk

2 cups milk

2.

Whisk constantly and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes until you end up with a thick and creamy Béchamel sauce.

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