Monday, February 11, 2008

Baked Ziti

Let me just take a moment to say...I LOVE baked ziti. It is probably my favorite thing to eat. When I lived alone, I used to make little individual (impostor) baked ziti by placing pasta, sauce & mozzarella in a bowl & microwaving it. But I especially love when I can make real baked ziti to share!

Now this post is going to be a bit hard, because when I make baked ziti, I don't measure anything. But I tried to take note of how much of each ingredient I used, and I will transfer that knowledge onto you.

Baked Ziti

10 oz ricotta cheese (I use part-skim)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup parmesan or romano shredded cheese
1 tsp Italian seasoning (or basil, oregano & parsley)
1/2 tsp pepper (or to taste)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 egg
1 lb ziti pasta
1 jar tomato sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bring large pot of water to boil, add pasta & boil for about 3 or 4 minutes, not too long, just to get it a little cooked. Drain.

Blend together (using hands, spoon, spatula, whatever you have around) ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup of the shredded mozzarella, parmesan, spices, and egg.

Pour about 1/3 of the tomato sauce into the bottom of the glass pan, and add 1/2 of the pasta.

Spoon 1/2 of ricotta mixture on top, being sure to spread it out evenly to cover the pasta.

Pour another 1/3 of the tomato sauce on top, add the rest of the pasta, spreading evenly, and then the final layer of the ricotta mixture.

Pour the final layer of tomato sauce, and spread the rest of the mozzarella generously on top.

Cover with aluminum foil & bake for about about 45 minutes. Remove foil, and continue baking for another 15 minutes, or until cheese is browned around the edges & bubbling.

Now my mama says she loves ricotta cheese so much she could eat it right out of the jar with a spoon, but I'm not such a big fan, so this is the perfect amount for me. If you really like the taste of ricotta, feel free to add more. And of course, I don't use meat, but I'm sure this would be delicious with a meat sauce.


Patricia Scarpin said...

I have made baked pasta only once so far, Sarah, and would love to make it again - you made me hungry now! :)

Gigi said...

I love baked pasta! It's just so comforting. Your pasta looks so cheesy and delicious!

Cakespy said...

I adore baked ziti, and your recipe looks up to my "grew-up-with-an-Italian-family-in-NJ" standards! YUM!

Sarah said...

Thanks everyone! The lack of sunlight certainly didn't help with the photography, so I'm glad you still thought it looked delicious!

cakespy - that's probably bc. I grew up with an Italian family in NJ! :) (well, 1/2 of it is Italian anyway!)

eatme_delicious said...

Mmm baked pasta with lots of cheese! Delicious.

GollyGumDrops said...

Oooo, I've often heard of baked ziti on the Sopranos etc, but never knew what it was. It looks heavenly (and may explain why TV mobsters are often so chubby)

Erica said...

totally giving this recipe a shout out on my blog tonight- thank you :)