I realize that many of the great recipes I discover are from my fellow food bloggers. I have a folder that sits on top of my desk that is bulging with recipes that I want to experience. This recipe I found at Fig Tree Appetizers www.figtreeapps.blogspot.com. I think what really sets this baked ziti apart is the basciamella sauce. A blend of butter, milk, flour and nutmeg. These ingredients when blended together produce a rich white sauce that is a key ingredient in many Italian dishes.
Baked ZitiRecipe fom: Mario BataliRecipe discovered on Fig Tree Appetizers
1 lb ziti , cooked al dente, drain and rinse under cool water
2 cups tomato sauce(note: If you use jarred pasta sauce, use high-quality)
2 cups besciamella (directions below)
1 lb. fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup flour
3 cups whole milk
1-2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Add the flour, stirring till light golden brown, about 6 minutes. Add milk to the butter mixture 1 cup at a time, whisking constantly. Cook till thickened, about 10 minutes, remove from heat. Season with salt and nutmeg, let cool.
Place drained cooked ziti in a large bowl. Add the tomato sauce, basciamella, mozzarella and Parmigiano to the ziti. Mix and stir well. Divide pasta into gratin dishes or a 9×13 baking dish. bake for 20 minutes until golden brown and bubbly. Serve immediately.