Baked Ziti

I’m not sure if I’ve posted this recipe or not, but here goes anyway…

Baked Ziti is a favorite of mine and this recipe from my Williams Sonoma cookbook couldn’t be easier. I simplify it even more by substituting a couple of jars of Barilla’s baking sauce instead of homemade tomato sauce…someday I’ll make my own.

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese (8oz)
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 cup freshly grated pecorino romano cheese (4oz)
  • Generous pinch of freshly grated nutmeg (sometimes I use dried)
  • Handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped (sometimes use dried!)
  • Salt & pepper to tast
  • 1lb ziti pasta or rigatoni
  • Home-style tomato sauce (or Barilla’s baking sauce – need 6 servings)
  • 1/2lb mozzarella cheese, cut into small cubes

Preheat oven to 425. Lightly coat a 10 x 12 (I use 9×13) baking dish with oil. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Combine the ricotta, egg yolk, 1/2cup of pecorino romano, nutmeg, and parsley in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper and mix to blend.

Generously salt the boiling water, add the pasta, and cook until al dente. Drain well. Put the pasta in the mixing bowl with the ricotta mixture. Toss well. Add the heated tomato sauce and the mozzarella and briefly toss again.

Transfer to prepared baking dish and smooth the top. Sprinkle with remaining pecorino romano cheese and trizzle with oil. Bake, uncovered, until bubbling and lightly browned, about 20 mintues. Let the baked pasta rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Note: Josh does not like this dish, so I always make the full batch, then split it between two 9×9 square baking dishes and freeze one.

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