Saturday, January 29, 2011

Baked Ziti

Recipe Taken From: Nan Porter


1/4 c olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
4 cloves crushed garlic
1 large can crushed tomatoes (2 lb can or so)
1 small can tomato paste
1 1/2 c water
2 T chopped parsley
1 T salt (you can omit if you're watching your salt)
1 T sugar
1 t dried oregano
1/2t dried basil
1/4 t pepper
A few splashes of red wine (whatever is open)

Cheese Layer:
2 15 oz cartons of ricotta cheese (part skim works fine if you're watching fats)
1 8 oz package shredded Italian blend cheese (mozzarella, parm etc.)
2 eggs
1 T. chopped parsley

1 lb bag of ziti noodles

To make sauce begin by heating oil in large kettle, saute onion and garlic until golden-brown (5-10 minutes)add tomatoes - juice and all, tomato paste, water, parsley, and other spices, (and wine) if using whole tomatoes smash against the sides with wooden spoon. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for about an hour.

In a large bowl beat eggs, add ricotta and cheese blend and parsley (salt and pepper if you want) Some times if you want to increase the protein a bit you can use a container of soft tofu too.

Cook 1lb ziti as directed, I have also used other shapes if I don't have ziti.

Spoon a little sauce in a five quart casserole, layer a third of ziti, 1/2 of cheese mixture and more sauce. Another third of ziti, the rest of the cheese, more sauce. The remaining ziti and then sauce - sprinkle grated parm on top. These freezes and refrigerates well.

Back 350 degrees for an hour, keep covered until the last fifteen minutes or so.

Notes & Tips:
This makes a TON of ziti! If you don't have a 5qt. casserole dish (which I didn't) you can use a 2 3qt ones and split the ingredients in half and make 2 batches. I tried this without the ziti noodles and it was great. The sauce is wonderful, I did add the wine, but that's because honestly...I just love wine.

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