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

Furniture

The Tradie Brotherhood Behind Our Newest Furniture Obsession

Brothers Jack and Mark Fearon combine their experience as a plumber and boilermaker to create the most colourful, characterful furniture goi...
Sasha Gattermayr

News

Swoon-Worthy Luggage For The Perfect Weekend Escape

Local luggage experts July prep us for the summer of local travel with the slick new ‘Daybreak’ range.
Sponsored
02:40

Small Business

Our (Free!) Small Business Summer School Is Here!

Got a burning business idea but no idea where to start? Small Business Consultant Fiona Killackey is here to guide you through how to get st...

News

A Starlight Summer Festival To Begin In Heide’s Sculpture Park

Get your socialising mojo back with this cultural program of dance events, music acts and Indigenous storytelling at Heide Museum of Modern
Sponsored

Studio Visit

Dive Into The Colourful, Creative World of Melbourne's Designer-Of-The-Moment, Danielle Brustman

Know her name but not her story? Welcome to the vibrant world of designer Danielle Brustman, at her incredible studio in Collingwood Yards!
Sasha Gattermayr

Architecture

A Lean, Clean Renovation To A Grand Heritage Weatherboard

ioa Studio transforms a cavernous Victorian residence into a light, bright contemporary home - and adds an element of surprise!
Sasha Gattermayr
  17 hours ago

Architecture

This Couple's Home Is Two Houses In One!

Coy Yiontis Architects have designed this home with separate areas for a couple who have been living together for 50 years. His and hers goa...

Homes

Louella Boitel Gill's Loved And Layered Bungalow By The Beach

Interior and furniture designer Louella Boîtel-Gill has turned her former Airbnb in the Northern Rivers into an idyllic family home.

Architecture

A Victorian Terrace That Plays Design Gymnastics!

Melbourne's colour masters Wowowa are back with another clever Victorian renovation!

Stays

This Revitalised Motel With Old Hollywood Vibes Is Byron Bay's Newest Design Destination

A little bit Los Angeles, a little bit Ibiza, this beautiful new accommodation in the heart of the Northern Rivers is a showcase of local de...
Sasha Gattermayr

Architecture

A Contemporary Beach House Designed By An Architect For Her Parents

The Bendalong Beach House by Madeleine Blanchfield provided such a serene escape for its owners, it became their full-time residence!
Amelia Barnes
  1 hour ago
42:51

Podcast

TDF Talks with Plant Designer, Jenna Holmes of Plant Mama

In this podcast conversation, Jenna of 'Plant Mama' and 'Pasta Mama' shares how she has built and grown two very different businesses from t...

Interiors

The 5 Rules Of Good Kitchen Design, According To Cantilever Interiors

A good kitchen starts with observing these five rules, brought to you by Australian design and manufacturing kitchen brand Cantilever Interi...

Architecture

A Sleek, Surprising Reworking Of A Victorian Cottage

A humble but innovative extension by Blair Smith Architecture has totally modernised this Victorian cottage in Brunswick.

News

Colourful New Kids Books From A Legendary Local Illustrator

Artist Kat MacLeod teaches us our ABCs in this super cute range of books from Thames & Hudson.
Sasha Gattermayr
  14 hours ago

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

Architecture

A Lean, Clean Renovation To A Grand Heritage Weatherboard

ioa Studio transforms a cavernous Victorian residence into a light, bright contemporary home - and adds an element of surprise!
Sasha Gattermayr
  17 hours ago

News

Colourful New Kids Books From A Legendary Local Illustrator

Artist Kat MacLeod teaches us our ABCs in this super cute range of books from Thames & Hudson.
Sasha Gattermayr
  14 hours ago

News

Swoon-Worthy Luggage For The Perfect Weekend Escape

Local luggage experts July prep us for the summer of local travel with the slick new ‘Daybreak’ range.
Sponsored

Architecture

A Victorian Terrace That Plays Design Gymnastics!

Melbourne's colour masters Wowowa are back with another clever Victorian renovation!

Furniture

The Tradie Brotherhood Behind Our Newest Furniture Obsession

Brothers Jack and Mark Fearon combine their experience as a plumber and boilermaker to create the most colourful, characterful furniture goi...
Sasha Gattermayr

Studio Visit

Dive Into The Colourful, Creative World of Melbourne's Designer-Of-The-Moment, Danielle Brustman

Know her name but not her story? Welcome to the vibrant world of designer Danielle Brustman, at her incredible studio in Collingwood Yards!
Sasha Gattermayr
42:51

Podcast

TDF Talks with Plant Designer, Jenna Holmes of Plant Mama

In this podcast conversation, Jenna of 'Plant Mama' and 'Pasta Mama' shares how she has built and grown two very different businesses from t...

Architecture

This Couple's Home Is Two Houses In One!

Coy Yiontis Architects have designed this home with separate areas for a couple who have been living together for 50 years. His and hers goa...

Architecture

A Sleek, Surprising Reworking Of A Victorian Cottage

A humble but innovative extension by Blair Smith Architecture has totally modernised this Victorian cottage in Brunswick.
02:40

Small Business

Our (Free!) Small Business Summer School Is Here!

Got a burning business idea but no idea where to start? Small Business Consultant Fiona Killackey is here to guide you through how to get st...

Architecture

A Contemporary Beach House Designed By An Architect For Her Parents

The Bendalong Beach House by Madeleine Blanchfield provided such a serene escape for its owners, it became their full-time residence!
Amelia Barnes
  1 hour ago

Homes

Louella Boitel Gill's Loved And Layered Bungalow By The Beach

Interior and furniture designer Louella Boîtel-Gill has turned her former Airbnb in the Northern Rivers into an idyllic family home.

News

A Starlight Summer Festival To Begin In Heide’s Sculpture Park

Get your socialising mojo back with this cultural program of dance events, music acts and Indigenous storytelling at Heide Museum of Modern
Sponsored

Interiors

The 5 Rules Of Good Kitchen Design, According To Cantilever Interiors

A good kitchen starts with observing these five rules, brought to you by Australian design and manufacturing kitchen brand Cantilever Interi...

Stays

This Revitalised Motel With Old Hollywood Vibes Is Byron Bay's Newest Design Destination

A little bit Los Angeles, a little bit Ibiza, this beautiful new accommodation in the heart of the Northern Rivers is a showcase of local de...
Sasha Gattermayr

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 – we would love to hear from you.

Please email us here.