Sharing a Recipe

Today is back to school day. We have a two hour delay, making the transition back to work a little easier. Yesterday I had the best day. I played tennis two different times and spent the rest of the day doing more cleaning and organizing. I feel so much better when my house is clean and I feel like I’ve accomplished something. I still haven’t used the floral material that I bought the other day in anticipation of a snow day, but it’s waiting for me when I have time to tackle that project.

I’ve made Baked Ziti from the March/April 2009 Cook’s Illustrated twice now and give it an A+. If you are a pasta lover, give this recipe a try. You’ll love it!

Baked Ziti

1 lb whole milk or 1% cottage cheese (I used 1%)
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
3 oz grated Parmesan (about 1 1/2 cups)
Table salt
1 lb ziti (I used Rotini)
2 T EVOO
5 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 (28 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 t dried oregano
1/2 cup plus 2 T chopped fresh basil (I used dried)
1 t sugar
Pepper
*3/4 t cornstarch (Use 2 t if using 1 cup whole milk instead of heavy cream)
*1 cup heavy cream (May substitute 1 cup of whole milk)
8 oz low -moisture mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/4 inch pieces

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk cottage cheese, eggs, and 1 cup Parmesan together in medium bowl; set aside. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large Dutch oven over high heat. Stir in 1 T salt and pasta; cook, stirring occasionally, until pasta begins to soften but is not yet cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain pasta and leave in colander (do not wash Dutch oven).

2. Meanwhile, heat oil and garlic in 12-inch skillet over medium heat until garlic is fragrant but not brown, about 2 minutes. Stir in tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and oregano; simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes. Off heat, stir in 1/2 cup basil and sugar, then season with salt and pepper.

3. Stir cornstarch into heavy cream in small bowl; transfer mixture to now-empty Dutch oven set over medium heat. Bring to simmer and cook until thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. **(Cook 1 to 2 minutes longer if using whole milk.)** Remove pot from heat and add cottage cheese mixture, 1 cup tomato sauce, and 3/4 cup mozzarella, then stir to combine. Add pasta and stir to coat thoroughly with sauce.

4. Transfer pasta mixture to 13 by 9 inch baking dish and spread remaining tomato sauce evenly over pasta. Sprinkle remaining 3/4 cup mozzarella and remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan over top. Cover baking dish tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes.

5. Remove foil and continue to cook until cheese is bubbling and beginning to brown, about 30 minutes longer. Cool for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 2 T basil and serve.

9 Comments

  1. It sounds and looks wonderful! I am definitely going to give it a try. Hope you have a good day back at work!

  2. That looks so good…your pictures make me want to crawl through the computer and eat it!!! Great pictures.
    Warm regards,
    Wendy

  3. Oh, man…I should not have clicked on this–that looks sinfully delicious! I love how you post pics of your recipes so we can see how amazing everything looks. This would be great to try if I could get a supper club going. 🙂

  4. Paula, this looks delish! What a great looking recipe. Thanks for sharing it. Hope you don’t mind but I pointed it out to the “belles.”

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