1 large onion, cut into small dice
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 lb. sweet Italian pork sausage, removed from its casing and crumbled
Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup dry red wine
35-oz. can whole plum tomatoes, chopped, with their juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh marjoram or oregano (from about 6 large sprigs)
1 cup fresh ricotta cheese
1 cup freshly grated mild pecorino cheese
Pinch nutmeg, preferably freshly grated
1/3 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1 lb. ziti
1/2 lb. mozzarella, preferably fresh, cut into small cubes
Heat oven to 425°F.
Lightly oil a large, shallow baking dish.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
In a large skillet, heat about 2 Tbs. olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until soft, about 5 min. Add the garlic and crumbled sausage and sauté until the sausage begins to brown. Season with salt and pepper. If the sausage gives off a lot of fat, pour most of it off, but leave a little to add flavor to the sauce. Add the red wine and let it boil until it's almost gone. Add the tomatoes with all of their juices and cook, uncovered, at a lively simmer for about 10 min. The sauce will thicken slightly. Add the marjoram or oregano and taste for seasoning.
In a large mixing bowl, mix together ricotta, about half the grated pecorino, the nutmeg, and the parsley. Season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta until al dente.
Drain well and toss it with the ricotta mixture until well coated. Add the sausage and sauce and mix again. Add the mozzarella and toss gently. Pour everything into the baking dish and sprinkle the remaining pecorino on top. Bake uncovered until lightly browned and bubbling, about 20 min.
Serve right away.
Recipe Link: http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/baked_ziti_tomato_mozzarella_sausage.aspx