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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.
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)
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
*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.