Sunday, January 23, 2011
Posted by: Maggie
Three types of cheese, marinara sauce, and pasta? Check. One hour from start to finish, most of which is inactive cooking time while the water boils and the casserole bakes? Check. Delicious and comforting for a lazy Saturday dinner? Check.
This recipe was one of the very first things I ever cooked for my boyfriend, back when we first started dating in April 2009. I'd invited him over for dinner on a Friday after work, and then realized that making a completely from scratch dinner interfered with my desire not to look like a dirty hobo when he arrived. I needed something quick and easy, that I could stick in the oven and forget about while I got ready. This baked ziti perfectly fit the bill.
I made it again yesterday when I didn't really feel like cooking something overly involved. I opted for the semi-homemade version and used jarred sauce, but if you prefer you can definitely use your favorite homemade kind. Jarred sauce isn't really a cooking shortcut that bothers me, since so many brands now have short ingredient lists, and no random preservatives/chemicals/high-fructose corn syrup.
Here's what you'll need:
6 cups (16 oz.) ziti, uncooked
3 cups marinara sauce, divided
1-3/4 cups (15 oz.) ricotta cheese
2 cups (8 oz.) shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Grated Parmesan cheese, to taste
Heat oven to 375°F. Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente, drain. In large bowl, stir together hot pasta, 1-1/2 cups spaghetti sauce, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, parsley, egg, oregano, garlic powder, salt and pepper. In 13 x 9 baking dish, spoon in pasta mixture; top with remaining 1-1/2 cups sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese; cover with foil. Bake 30-35 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
This is the recipe my Mom uses, and it came from a box of San Giorgio ziti. Their website is kind of annoying and I can't link directly to it, but I wanted to give credit where credit was due!