- Rachael Ray - https://www.rachaelray.com -

Two-Sauce Baked Ziti

This recipe originally appeared on the Rachael Ray Show. For more recipes and videos from the show visit RachaelRayShow.com [1].


For the meat sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons EVOO [2] – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 ounces pancetta, finely chopped/diced
  • 3/4 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound (2 links) sweet sausage with fennel, casings removed
  • 4 chicken livers (about 3 ounces), trimmed and very finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground thyme or 1 teaspoon dried leaves
  • A few grates nutmeg
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed or diced tomatoes
  • 1 pound ziti rigate or penne rigate
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese, drained
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, diced
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup grated Parm cheese
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper

For the béchamel:

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • Salt, white pepper and nutmeg, to taste
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • A handful grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


For the meat sauce, heat EVOO [2], 2 turns of the pan [3] and melt in butter. Add pancetta, render 2 minutes then add beef and sausage (and liver, if using). Brown 12-15 minutes then add onions, bay, thyme, nutmeg, garlic, salt, pepper and rosemary, and cook 10 minutes more. Add wine and let it absorb; add tomatoes and simmer 30-40 minutes.

Cook pasta 5 minutes in salted boiling water. Reserve 1 cup starchy cooking water then drain and run pasta under cold water to cool.

Combine ricotta, mozzarella, eggs, Parm, parsley, salt and pepper in bowl [4].

For the béchamel, heat a saucepot [3] over medium heat, add butter and melt. Whisk [5] in flour then milk, season with salt, white pepper and nutmeg to taste, lower heat and add cream. Cook to thicken slightly.

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Toss pasta with all of the meat sauce. Pour half into a lasagna pan [3] or baking casserole then top with ricotta mixture. Add remaining pasta and meat sauce, and top casserole with béchamel and Parm. Bake to brown and bubbly.