We were slow to watch The Sopranos and only watched the series a couple of years ago. Aside from my love of the characters, I was also inspired to make baked ziti, just like Carmela. I found this recipe a few years ago and have made it a few times.
2 lbs of ground meat (I use beef and pork; I have also used sausage meat (removed from the casings))
1 24 oz jar of pasta sauce
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced (You could probably add more, this is an Italian dish after all)
1 tsp oregano
1 lb box of ziti (which I actually cannot find at the grocery store so I used whole wheat penne)
1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
1 egg, slightly beaten
2 cups shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Brown the meat in a skillet until cooked through. Add onion, garlic and oregano and sauté for 5 minutes or so. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the pasta sauce and mix together. Set aside.
Cook pasta al dente according to package instructions.
Combine ricotta cheese and egg together.
Drain pasta, put back into pot, add meat sauce and cheese mixture. Stir until well mixed.
Spray a 9x13 inch casserole dish and pour ziti mixture into the dish. Top with mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove foil and cook for another 10 minutes. You may want to briefly use the broiler at the end so the cheese browns and bubbles.
This makes a lot, but it is good for leftovers and to freeze.