DUTCH OVEN BAKED ZITI
Outdoor Dutch Oven Cookbook
by Sheila Mills
Hearty and plenty to go around, this is an awesome spring river trip meal from river guide and nurse, Keri O'Connor from Pocatello, Idaho. Make this sauce ahead of time and freeze. It will hold up great in your cooler and make this meal easy to prepare on the river.
Yield: 6 servings
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 4 ounces thinly sliced pancetta, chopped
• 2 pounds Boston butt pork shoulder, cut into 1¼-inch cubes
• salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
• 1 pound Italian hot sausages, casings removed and sliced
• 2 cups chopped onion
• 3/4 cup chopped carrot
• 2 stalks celery, chopped
• 6 fresh thyme sprigs
• 6 garlic cloves, chopped
• 2 bay leaves
• 1/2 teaspoon (or to taste) dried crushed red pepper
• 2 cups dry red wine
• 1 can (28 ounces) chopped plum tomatoes, juice reserved
• 1 can (12 ounces) crushed tomatoes
• 1¼ pounds ziti pasta
• 8 ounces whole-milk mozzarella cheese, coarsely grated (2 cups)
• 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (1/2 cup)
Heat Dutch oven or heavy large pot over medium-high heat and add oil. Add pancetta and sauté until brown and crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to bowl. Season pork with salt and pepper. Add half of pork to drippings in pot; sauté until brown. Transfer pork to bowl with pancetta. Repeat with remaining pork.
Add sausage and sauté until no longer pink, breaking up with back of fork. Add onion, carrot, celery, thyme, garlic, bay leaves, and crushed red pepper. Sauté until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Add wine and bring to boil, scraping up browned bits. Return pancetta and pork with any accumulated juices. Add chopped tomatoes with juice along with crushed tomatoes. Cover and simmer until pork is very tender, about 2 hours. Adjust heat as needed to maintain gentle simmer and stir occasionally.
Uncover pot; tilt to one side and spoon off fat from surface of sauce. Remove bay leaf. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper.
Cook pasta in a large pot according to package directions until tender but firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain pasta; mix into sauce.
Sprinkle with both cheeses. Bake until heated through and golden, about 20 minutes. For a conventional oven, place mixture in a 9" X 13" baking dish and bake at 350°F for 30 minutes.