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In honor of her role as the judge for our 2018 "Mother's Day Cook-Off," party planner to the stars Mary Giuliani shared her mom's Sicilian-style version of a classic Italian dish. 


  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound dry sweet sausage
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 (28 ounce) cans crushed San Marzano tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 4-5 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 pound ziti
  • 2 cups white rice
  • 2 cups grated pecorino romano
  • 1 pound mozzarella block, sliced
  • 2 eggs


Serves: 6-8


In a sauce pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes and cook until onion softens. Add celery and carrots, and cook until softened, then add ground beef and sausage and cook until browned. Add the wine and cook until the aroma of the alcohol disappears. Add the tomatoes and season with salt, pepper, dried oregano and basil. Cook at a bare simmer for at least two hours.

Prepare the ziti and rice separately according to package directions. Once pasta is ready, drain and mix with some sauce in a bowl and set aside. Once rice is ready, stir in some sauce and set aside.

In a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, coat the bottom of the dish with a layer of sauce. Add the ziti and top with 1/2 cup pecorino romano and another layer of sauce. Add the rice and top with ½ cup pecorino Romano and another layer of sauce. Arrange the mozzarella on top.

In a bowl, beat the eggs with the remaining 1 cup pecorino romano. Drizzle the egg-cheese mixture on top and bake in a preheated 350˚F oven until golden-brown on top and cheese is melted, about 25 minutes.

Baked Ziti