Monday, October 23, 2006

Baked Ziti

Feel like swimming in pasta and sauce?!

The last time we were in the US, we bought a box of ziti. They were on sale for $1 each! And there were a bunch of different shapes we never see around here. If you can't find ziti then penne also does beautifully in this dish but any medium shape will work.

This dish is deadly easy, freezes well and doubles up no problem. Just boil your pasta (the whole box or bag unless it's mumbo jumbo size) and drain. In a large bowl mix a large container of light ricotta (or low fat cottage cheese if that's all you can find), about 2 cups of grated mozza and about 1 cup of grated parmesan, romano or asiago. Add a jar of sauce. Mix it all up, stir in the pasta, pour it in a greased 8 x13 inch casserole or lasagna dish and your are ready to bake. I like to sprinkle another 1/2 or so of mozza on top. Bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes uncovered until is nice and bubbly. Let sit at least 5 minutes before serving.

You can easily up the veggie content of this meal. I used some leftover broccoli, fennel and yellow pepper. But if you don't have any leftover veggies laying around, try adding a box of defrosted frozen spinach or chopped broccoli.

You can prep this one the night before and just take it out of the fridge, pop it into the oven as soon as you turn it on. While the oven is preheating, the dish is coming up to temperature. You will most likely need to the full 45 minutes because of the time the dish had to warm up before cooking commenced. It's still all good!

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