Saturday, February 26, 2011

Traditional baked ziti

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In case you haven't noticed, I love baked ziti. I believe this is my fourth rendition of the dish, and this is the most traditional one to date. Apparently, this is how southerners make it. Well, that's what my mother-in-law tells me, but she's from Miami.

I need better sources.

Ingredients:
  • 1 box of noodles (ziti, penne, and rotini noodles are the best options)
  • 1 large can of your favorite spaghetti sauce
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 16 oz. container of ricotta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 cups Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350 F
  • Cook the noodles according to the directions. Drain and return to pot.
  • Spoon ricotta cheese into the pot o' noodles.
  • Add the mozzarella cheese and minced garlic. Mix until combined.
  • In a separate pot, warm up the pasta sauce on medium heat
  • Once the sauce is hot, add the milk and butter. Mix until combined.
    • My husband claims he needs to have meat in this type of dish, so sometimes I cook 1 lb. of ground beef, drain it and add it to the sauce.
  • Spread noodle/cheese mixture into a 13x9 pan.
  • Top with pasta sauce (or meat sauce)
  • Top with Parmesan cheese
  • Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes or until bubbly.
  • Top with dried basil and oregano to add a little extra Italian "kick." Serve warm with salad and breadsticks.
Being a not-so-Southern belle, I find this dish to be absolutely delightful. And for all you newlyweds and empty-nesters who are only serving two people ... this will last you for at least two days.

How beautiful is that?

Love and ziti ... again,
Rachael

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