Sunday, July 13, 2014

Baked Ziti

I could have SWORN I've posted about Baked Ziti before!
But when I went to find the post for a friend,
it wasn't there!!!

I was shocked!
I've made this recipe FOREVER.
And even though I call it Baked Ziti, 
I don't think I've ever used real Ziti pasta.
I mix it up, but tend to use Rotini most often.

Now, let me show you how to make Baked Ziti,
or Baked Rotini, or whatever you wanna call it!

The Goods:
1 Box Pasta - Ziti, Rotini, Rigatoni, WHATEVER your little heart desires!
1 1/2 Cups Pasta Sauce - I use jarred Marinara, but you can always make your own.
7 1/2 Ounces Ricotta Cheese - I prefer to use Part Skim.
1 1/2 Cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese - Again, I like to use Part Skim. 
1/4 to 1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese - Fresh is best, but canned is ok if that's all you have!
1 to 2 Cloves Garlic - TOTALLY optional. I used to use it, but haven't the last few time.

Cook your pasta until al dente, which is usually about 5 minutes.
Don't worry - your pasta will cook a lil more when it bakes!
Once cooked, drain pasta and return to the pot you cooked it in.

Add almost all the cheese (reserve a little Mozzarella and Parmesan)
and mix it all up until pretty well combined.
If you're using garlic, add that too!

Now here come the fun part...

Time to layer your pasta!
Start with a layer of sauce and then add about half your pasta mixture.
Do another layer of sauce and add the rest of your pasta.
Add one more layer of sauce and your reserved cheese.

Now you can either bake the Ziti, or Rotini, or whatever you're using...

OR you can freeze it to use at a later date like I did!

I actually DOUBLED the recipe.
I not only made one to bake right away and eat,
 but I also made one to freeze and bake at a later date!

Whenever you decided to bake your pasta, 
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and bake for 35 to 45 minutes.
You want the cheese on top to fully melt and get a little color.

Before I go, one last quick tip!
I usually move the pasta from the freezer to the fridge 
the night before I want to bake it so it has time to defrost.
If you forget to do so, you'll just want to bake your pasta longer!

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