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close up of cheey gooey tray of hot baked ziti

How to Make a Killer Baked Ziti


  • Author: Debi

Description

All the flavor, tastes, and comfort of lasagna with half the work


Scale

Ingredients

FOR THE SAUCE:

  • 2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Organic Onion, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
  • 3 Cloves Organic Garlic, finely chopped
  • 5 Cups Marinara Sauce (about 46 ounces)
  • 12 teaspoons Sea Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound dried ziti or penne pasta
  • 1 Cup Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese
  • 1 Organic Egg
  • 1/2 Cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 8 oz Freshly Grated Whole Milk Organic Mozzarella Cheese
  • 812 slices Provolone cheese from the deli counter

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a large skillet over medium high heat, add 2 Tablespoons of oil and saute the onion 1-2 minutes until soft.  Add the garlic and season with salt and pepper, cook another minute.
  3. Add the marinara sauce and heat until hot.
  4. Meanwhile add the pasta to rapidly simmering, NOT BOILING, water and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 6 minutes or until al dente with a little bite left in it.
  5. As the pasta is cooking, in a small bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, egg, parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of sugar if desired.
  6. Pour a Tablespoon or 2 of olive oil in the bottom of a 9×13 pan and coat.
  7. Drain the pasta and pour in  HALF the pasta and add HALF the sauce.  Stir to combine.
  8. Put dollops of ricotta cheese on top of the pasta.  Top it with 4-6 slices of Provolone cheese, then HALF the mozzarella cheese.
  9. Repeat with the remaining pasta, sauce, ricotta cheese and cheeses ensuring all the pasta is thoroughly covered in sauce.
  10. Top with fresh Parmesan cheese and bake UNCOVERED at 375 for 30 minutes.  Pop the ziti under the broiler for a few minutes at the end to get a nice brown bubbly cheese.