This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

Emiko Davies' 'Ziti al Forno' Baked Pasta

Food

Emiko Davies’ delicious new cookbook, Tortellini at Midnight captures the kind of cooking that isn’t often found in recipe collections. Emiko is interested in protecting food, as a form of culture, particularly the meals that a grandparent cooked, or was served by an uncle every Christmas. She explains ‘like any treasured heirloom, I wanted to collect and put down on paper the recipes that brought together many generations of this family, before they completely disappeared, even from memory.’ 

If you’ve ever wished you had an Italian Nonna or Nonno to make you dinner, perhaps it’s time to make your own family traditions, based on these mouth watering traditional recipes!

27th August, 2019

Emiko with her husband Marco, and their two daughters. Photo –  Lauren Bamford.

Florence dreams with Emiko Davies. Photo – Emiko Davies.

This cook book is deeply inspired by place, and local food culture. Photo – Emiko Davies.

Inspiring landscapes of Italy. Photo – Emiko Davies.

This cook book makes nostalgia modern. Photo – Emiko Davies.

Passing down family recipes. Photo – Lauren Bamford.

Emiko is making new cooking traditions with her family. Photo – Lauren Bamford.

Dinner time – Zita al Forno. Photo – Lauren Bamford.

Emiko Davies
Tuesday 27th August 2019

‘A comforting, crowd pleasing dinner’ – Emiko Davies.

My mother-in-law Angela’s family’s version of this southern Italian classic was always a rather simple but satisfying one: tomato sauce flavoured with garlic and basil, layered with cheese (scamorza was always their favourite, but you can also use mozzarella), and, of course, ziti: long thick tubes of pasta. But the way you’ll often find it alla Pugliese is with the hearty additions of lots of little polpettine (hazelnut-sized meatballs), or sometimes even slices of hard-boiled egg, sausage, prosciutto or mortadella.

I like to stick to the family’s simple version with tomato, basil and scamorza for a weeknight meal.

Ziti Al Forno (Baked Ziti)

INGREDIENTS

Serves 6 

80ml (2 ½  fl oz, ⅓ cup) extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced 
400g (14 oz) tomato passata (puréed tomatoes) 
Handful of fresh basil leaves 
300g (10 ½ oz) ziti 
250 g (9 oz) scamorza or mozzarella, thinly sliced 
50g (1 ⅓ oz) pecorino, grated 

METHOD

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. 

In the meantime, begin preparing a tomato sauce by heating 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a saucepan over a low, gentle heat. Add the garlic clove and infuse the oil for a couple of minutes, then add the passatta and about 250 ml (8 ½ fl oz/1 cup) water. Season with some salt and pepper and bring the sauce to a steady simmer over a medium heat. Cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced and thickened slightly. Just before taking off the heat, add about 5-6 basil leaves. Set aside until needed. 

Once the pot of water is boiling, add the ziti (they are rather long, so break them in half if necessary to fit them in the pot). Cook until al dente, referring to the packet instructions (minus 1 or 2 minutes of cooking time). Drain and toss the ziti with the sauce until well coated. 

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). 

To a 20 x 30cm (8 x 12 in) baking dish, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and about 2 tablespoons of the tomato sauce. Now add half the ziti and (if using) scatter over half of the sausage – broken up into small pieces and, if you like, rolled into small meatballs – half of the scamorza and half of the pecorino. Repeat with ziti, sausage and cheese, finishing with the remaining olive oil. 

Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until you can see the sauce bubbling around the edges and the top has formed a nice golden crust. 

Eat! 

This is an edited extract from Tortellini at Midnight by Emiko Davies. Available from Hardie Grant Books

This Week

News

DOMO Opens A Luxurious New Sydney Flagship Showroom

Sydneysiders have a new design destination to explore – and it’s been curated to help you find your dream furniture!
Sponsored

Travel

Eleanor Pendleton’s Guide To The NSW Central Coast

The best places to eat, drink and shop according to Gritty Pretty founder, beauty influencer and Central Coast local, Eleanor Pendleton!
Christina Karras

TDF Collect

TDF Collect Presents: ‘Martumili Artists’

Introducing a group show in collaboration with the incredible Martumili Artists from Newman, Western Australia!

Studio Visit

Chef Turned Ceramicist Claire Ellis’ Amazing, Experimental Practice

She got her start working as a chef at Attica, but has since developed a range of beautiful stoneware, with sustainability front of mind!
Christina Karras

Architecture

This New Northcote Home Takes Its Cues From Italian Villages

Think of West Bend House — a new Northcote home designed by MRTN Architects with Brave New Eco — as an ‘inhabited pathway,’ inspired...

Shopping

Bold + Funky Rugs From Local Creative, Objects By Kit

Melbourne designer Katie Ford launched her lockdown-inspired furniture business with a duo of funky rugs, designed to brighten up our living...
Christina Karras

At Home With Sheridan

Interior Designer Brahman Perera + Restaurateur Jason M Jones’ Luxe Melbourne Terrace

The West Melbourne home of interior designer Brahman Perera, styled with personal heirlooms and luxury Sheridan bedding.

News

Mark Your Calendars For Cult’s Massive Sale Of Designer Furniture

It’s the best time of the year to score huge savings on your favourite designer furniture pieces!
Sponsored

Homes

An Architecturally Superb Melbourne Home By Sean Godsell

The meticulously considered home of Mandy Wilton in South Yarra, renovated by Sean Godsell Architects.

Architecture

Restoring A Mid-Century Apartment In Brisbane’s Famous Torbreck Building

A sympathetic renovation inside Brisbane’s heritage Torbreck building, brought back to life by Kin Architects and the owners.

Architecture

An Architect’s Own Tranquil, Terrazzo-Filled Home

Melbourne architect Lisa Breeze is the master of taking unremarkable homes and making them unique - including her own family home in Northco...

News

‘Open Mess’ Brings Together Art And Food For A Good Cause

Attend an ‘art feast for good’, featuring Melbourne’s best foodies across the art and hospitality industries, to raise mon...
Christina Karras

On The Market

A Mid-Century Masterpiece Hits The Market In North Warrandyte

The ‘Wright House’ has been named as one of Robin Boyd's most iconic designs, and it's for sale for the first time in over a decade!
Christina Karras

Gardens

An Abundant Biodynamic Flower Farm Guided By The Cycles Of The Moon

An inside look at Alchemilla in the foothills of Victoria's Otways, where Phoebe East cultivates her organic farm by the lunar cycles!
Christina Karras

Sustainable Homes

Two Sustainable Rental Properties In Melbourne’s Middle Ring

Bardolph Gardens by Breathe Architecture is an environmentally-sustainable and well-designed rental housing project in Melbourne's Glen Iris...

View Comments

Similar Stories

Food

Emiko Davies · Rigatoni Alla Buttera (Cowboy Style)

Our new Florentine friend, Emiko Davies, joins us for a month of truly authentic Italian cooking. First up, a rich yet simple pancetta and p...
Emiko Davies

Food

Emiko Davies · Crostata Pere Ricotta

While half of the TDF office is in Milan this week, the rest of us are making it through the FOMO thanks to Emiko Davies' third Italian comf...
Emiko Davies

Food

Emiko Davies · Tagliolini Con Ceci (aka Tagliolini With Chickpeas)

The Florentine foodie shares her recipe for a simple pasta that turns minimal ingredients into maximum comfort food!
Emiko Davies

This Week

News

Mark Your Calendars For Cult’s Massive Sale Of Designer Furniture

It’s the best time of the year to score huge savings on your favourite designer furniture pieces!
Sponsored

Architecture

This New Northcote Home Takes Its Cues From Italian Villages

Think of West Bend House — a new Northcote home designed by MRTN Architects with Brave New Eco — as an ‘inhabited pathway,’ inspired...

Gardens

An Abundant Biodynamic Flower Farm Guided By The Cycles Of The Moon

An inside look at Alchemilla in the foothills of Victoria's Otways, where Phoebe East cultivates her organic farm by the lunar cycles!
Christina Karras

Travel

Eleanor Pendleton’s Guide To The NSW Central Coast

The best places to eat, drink and shop according to Gritty Pretty founder, beauty influencer and Central Coast local, Eleanor Pendleton!
Christina Karras

News

‘Open Mess’ Brings Together Art And Food For A Good Cause

Attend an ‘art feast for good’, featuring Melbourne’s best foodies across the art and hospitality industries, to raise mon...
Christina Karras

On The Market

A Mid-Century Masterpiece Hits The Market In North Warrandyte

The ‘Wright House’ has been named as one of Robin Boyd's most iconic designs, and it's for sale for the first time in over a decade!
Christina Karras

Architecture

An Architect’s Own Tranquil, Terrazzo-Filled Home

Melbourne architect Lisa Breeze is the master of taking unremarkable homes and making them unique - including her own family home in Northco...

Homes

An Architecturally Superb Melbourne Home By Sean Godsell

The meticulously considered home of Mandy Wilton in South Yarra, renovated by Sean Godsell Architects.

At Home With Sheridan

Interior Designer Brahman Perera + Restaurateur Jason M Jones’ Luxe Melbourne Terrace

The West Melbourne home of interior designer Brahman Perera, styled with personal heirlooms and luxury Sheridan bedding.

News

DOMO Opens A Luxurious New Sydney Flagship Showroom

Sydneysiders have a new design destination to explore – and it’s been curated to help you find your dream furniture!
Sponsored

TDF Collect

TDF Collect Presents: ‘Martumili Artists’

Introducing a group show in collaboration with the incredible Martumili Artists from Newman, Western Australia!

Sustainable Homes

Two Sustainable Rental Properties In Melbourne’s Middle Ring

Bardolph Gardens by Breathe Architecture is an environmentally-sustainable and well-designed rental housing project in Melbourne's Glen Iris...

Shopping

Bold + Funky Rugs From Local Creative, Objects By Kit

Melbourne designer Katie Ford launched her lockdown-inspired furniture business with a duo of funky rugs, designed to brighten up our living...
Christina Karras

Studio Visit

Chef Turned Ceramicist Claire Ellis’ Amazing, Experimental Practice

She got her start working as a chef at Attica, but has since developed a range of beautiful stoneware, with sustainability front of mind!
Christina Karras

Architecture

Restoring A Mid-Century Apartment In Brisbane’s Famous Torbreck Building

A sympathetic renovation inside Brisbane’s heritage Torbreck building, brought back to life by Kin Architects and the owners.

Similar Stories

Food

Emiko Davies · Rigatoni Alla Buttera (Cowboy Style)

Our new Florentine friend, Emiko Davies, joins us for a month of truly authentic Italian cooking. First up, a rich yet simple pancetta and p...
Emiko Davies

Food

Emiko Davies · Crostata Pere Ricotta

While half of the TDF office is in Milan this week, the rest of us are making it through the FOMO thanks to Emiko Davies' third Italian comf...
Emiko Davies

Food

Emiko Davies · Tagliolini Con Ceci (aka Tagliolini With Chickpeas)

The Florentine foodie shares her recipe for a simple pasta that turns minimal ingredients into maximum comfort food!
Emiko Davies

The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net