I’m sorry, I had intended for this post to come much sooner than it did, but that’s just how my life is.
But I didn’t forget about you! I’ve thought about you every day, how you’re just sitting on the edge of your seat, checking this blog every 5 minutes to see if this recipe has shown up yet.
Seriously, though, there are probably better uses of your time.
So, without any more ado, here is how you make my baked ziti.
First, grate some parmesan cheese. You’ll need a total of about 3/4 of a cup.
You’ll also need a block of mozzarella.
Actually, you’ll also need shredded mozzarella. But you could do that yourself if you want.
You’ll also need these things.
A box of penne, a jar of pasta sauce (you can use homemade, too), an egg, and ricotta cheese.
Start things off by cubing your block of mozzarella.
Oh, wait. You should start by boiling water for the pasta. Salted water. Don’t skimp on the salt. It should be like the sea. Or so I’m told.
Ok, once that’s going, cube the mozzarella. Set it aside.
When the water is boiling, put in your pasta. You can definitely use a full pound of pasta, but I’ve found that if I do, it doesn’t fit well in my 2 1/2 quart casserole dish, so I use about 12 oz, or 3/4 of the box. But the recipe will still work if you use a full pound.
You can use a sweet spider strainer to strain it into a bowl, or just dump it into a colander and transfer it to a bowl. Don’t rinse it, you want all the starchiness still on the pasta so the sauce adheres better.
Now add the jar of pasta sauce.
Now take a look at your cubed mozzarella and decide that it’s way too big. Cut each of those cubes into 4 smaller ones.
Add that, along with about 1/4- 1/2 cup of parmesan.
Mix this all up and put it in a large casserole dish.
Now crack your egg into a small bowl.
Give it a good beating.
Add a cup of ricotta
add 1/4 cup of parmesan– whatever you have left after what you added to the pasta.
Then add 2/3 cup of shredded mozzarella.
Mix that together and spread on top of the pasta mixture.
Sprinkle additional mozzarella on the top to cover– about a cup or so, depending on the particular size & shape of your casserole dish.
Bake at 400〫for 20-30 minutes or until the top begins to brown.
Some notes: I used 1 lb of cubed mozzarella in the pasta mixture. In the end, I felt this was a little much. My husband really liked it, but I’d prefer a 1/2 lb. Also, I think bocconcini mozzarella would be really good in place of the cubed. It would be a bit milder in flavor, I think, but it would be so melty and fresh…
Any way you make it, it’s good eats.
Preheat oven to 400˚
1 box short pasta, like ziti or penne
26 oz. prepared or homemade tomato sauce
1 lb. cubed mozzarella (can use less if desired)
1/4-1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
Cook pasta in well-salted, boiling water until barely al dente. Mix with sauce, mozzarella, and parmesan. Put in large casserole dish.
1 cup part-skim ricotta
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
2/3 cup shredded mozzarella
Spread this mixture on top of pasta and top with more shredded mozzarella.
Bake for 20-30 minutes until browned on top.