Baked Ziti Recipe with Chorizo, Roasted Red Pepper, Fennel and Mozzarella Paired with Alamos Malbec, Argentina

Crowd pleasing and soul satisfying.  This hearty pasta dish is the ultimate comfort food.  The recipe can be prepared ahead and refrigerated overnight making it the perfect dish to serve game day.  Pair it with a fruit forward, full-bodied red like Alamos Malbec 2010.

Serves 8 to 10

1 lb. ziti or rigatoni pasta
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small fennel bulb, diced
1 lb. Chorizo sausage, casings removed
1 can diced tomato with juice (28 oz.)
½ can crushed tomato (14 oz.)
½ cup roasted red pepper, diced
¼ cup parsley, chopped
¾ tsp salt
pepper to taste
1/3 cup dry cured Spanish Chorizo, sliced thin
5 cups mozzarella, grated
¼ cup parmesan, grated

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and boil until just al dente. Drain and return the pasta to the pot.

In a large deep skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, garlic and fennel, cover and sauté until softened (about 5 minutes).  Add the Chorizo and cook over high heat, breaking up the sausage with the back of a wooden spoon, until the sausage is cooked through (about 3 minutes).  Add the diced and crushed tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Continue to simmer until the sauce begins to thicken, about 10 minutes. Add the roasted red pepper, parsley and season with salt and pepper.

Add the sauce to the cooked pasta in the pot with the sliced dry cured Chorizo and stir until just combined. Pour half  the pasta and sauce into a 9 X 13 inch baking dish then top with half  the grated mozzarella.  Repeat with the remaining pasta and mozzarella and sprinkle the grated parmesan evenly over the top of the casserole.

Bake on the top rack of the oven about 18 to 20 minutes, until it is bubbling and the browned. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.


Recipe created by: Christie Pollard for the Trialto Wine Group



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