Thursday, June 14, 2012

Baked Ziti

While this is a tasty dish, it is more notable for is ease and versatility.  Nothing could be simpler and who isn't comforted by baked pasta.  I made this and put it in the oven before going to my monthly wine tasting with the girls at Ormond Wine Co.  My darling husband didn't take a picture. That's ok, I don't have a real recipe;).  One on the things that makes this tasty (and easy) is the fact that the pasta is cooked in flavorful liquid.  It is completely adaptable to what you like in a pasta.  You want meat?  Brown some up and mix it in with the pasta before cooking.  You like veggies?  Throw them in.  This is a great dish to use up leftovers.  Any meat or veg from the previous night should taste great.  (ok maybe that hot curry from the night before wouldn't work but I game if you are lol)  I haven't tried it yet, but since it cooks for so long, any veg that tastes good boiled could go in raw in theory.  I even made a small baking dish of pasta without cheese for my dad who hates cheese. (yes I think the same thing, who hates cheese?) I am giving you the basic recipe, but I have mixed it up in all kinds of ways by changing the cheese, adding ricotta, using left over meats and/ or veggies and even cooking some sausage up for it.  Because it is an "easy" dish, I break a bit of a rule of mine and use jarred sauce.  Now I think that is ok as long as you read your ingredient label and a kid can pronounce all of the ingredients.

Baked Ziti

1 pound box of Ziti
1 (24 ounce)  jar of good quality pasta sauce
2 cups Mozzarella, shredded

Preheat the oven to 400
Put the pasta in a 9"x13" baking dish
Pour the sauce over the top
Fill the sauce jar  with water and pour into the baking dish
Stir to combine
Top with the cheese in an even layer
Cover with foil and bake 45 minutes
Uncover and cook for about 15 minutes or until the top is browned a bit

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