Recipe: Baked Ziti

Italian food is my all time favorite food to eat, anything to do with pasta and I am there.
 So when I found this recipe just had to share it.

Baked Ziti
Ingredients

  • 1 pound dried ziti pasta
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 1/2 cups QUICK MARINARA SAUCE, recipe follows
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, divided
  • 1/4 cup grated pecorino romano
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella, half cut into 1/2-inch cubes and half thinly sliced
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper or to taste

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt generously, and boil the pasta until al dente, tender but still slightly firm. Drain.

In a large bowl, toss the cooked pasta with the marinara sauce, 1/4 cup of the Parmesan, the pecorino, and the cubed mozzarella pieces. Season with the black pepper and red pepper to taste, and mix until well combined. Transfer the pasta to an oiled 9- x 13-inch baking dish. Cover the top of the pasta with the sliced mozzarella, and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan. Bake until lightly browned and hot, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately.

  • QUICK MARINARA SAUCE
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 medium onion, diced (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 1/2 cups whole, peeled, canned tomatoes in puree, (one 28-ounce can), roughly chopped
  • Sprig of fresh thyme
  • Sprig of fresh basil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute the onion and garlic, stirring, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and the herb sprigs and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.

Remove and discard the herb sprigs. Stir in the salt and season with pepper to taste. Use now, or store covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 2 months.
Yield: about 3 1/2 cups.
Credit: Copyright 2001 Television Food Network, G.P. All rights reserved

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