Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Baked Ziti

I'm only now figuring out what people mean when they talk about baked ziti.  I didn't grow up with it and I don't know anyone who cooks it (or talks about it, maybe).

As far as I can tell, it's the same ingredients as lasagna except with a chunky pasta and everything mixed together - same flavors, just no tedious layers.  So instead of baking a recipe in a 9x13, I divide it between 2 square pans and freeze one for a future meal.

I made two different recipes so far - one with cottage cheese, one with cream cheese.  I like to make sure the tomato sauce is heavily herbed, especially with a kick of fennel.  In this batch shown here, I also put in some chopped dry salami.


I served it with green salad and Italian bread.  We have salads with most every meal right now because of the packet of lettuce seeds my husband planted!

8 comments:

  1. I didn't know what it was either...sounds like something I'd like to try : ) I like your idea of freezing half for an easy second meal later! Great job on your fresh salad too!

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  2. I make a baked ziti with pesto that is so good it makes grown men cry. (Okay, maybe not, but I have seen grown men go back for thirds. It is yummy.) Next time we have a cold snap, I'm going to bake it--comfort food at its finest, I think...a pasta-casserole!!!

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  3. Well...I never knew what baked ziti was either...but it looks delish and sounds much more up my alley than tedious layers!

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  4. I lived in the Baked ZIti Capital of the World (northern NJ) for many years, and lately I've been making it with homemade "ricotta" (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/homemade-ricotta-recipe/index.html) which is not as thrifty as supermarket cottage cheese, but is cheaper to DIY with local milk and cream than to buy local prepared stuff. And it is so so tasty.

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  5. This looks yummy... And how smart to make in 2 pans and have an extra ready for a quick/good meal..
    Happy cooking.

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  6. Sara, thanks for the link. That's something I'd like to try. And I like the tidbit about Northern NJ.

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  7. Polly, do you mind sharing the recipe? I really dislike baked tomato sauce pastas, because the sauce soaks into the pasta, leaving mushy pasta and dry, tasteless sauce remnants. I really like the idea of an oil-based one.

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  8. I love baked ziti... sooooo easy, and perfect for making ahead to freeze!

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