Holiday Baked Ziti
Yes, there is such a thing. If you’re looking to serve a pasta dish to kick off the holiday this year— make my Baked Ziti. Your guests will love it. My tip: prepare and bake ahead of time. I am all about taking the stress out of the kitchen and this recipe does just that.
You will only need-
- 1-lb ziti
- 1-lb mozzarella you shred
- 3/4-cup grated pecorino romano cheese, you grate
- 2-28 oz cans of whole Italian plum tomatoes you crush by hand
- 2-lb of ricotta cheese, liquid drained
- 1-tsp salt
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 2-garlic cloves sliced
- 2-tbs olive oil
- 2-tbs butter
- In a large pot add the olive oil, garlic, onion, salt and put the heat on medium.
- Once the onion is translucent add the crushed tomatoes. Allow this to come to a boil and then lower the heat to allow it to cook for 30 minutes on a low boil, uncovered.
- Stir several times. Remove from the heat, stir in the butter and let this cool.
- Reserve 1/2 cup of the mozzarella, 1-cup of ricotta, 1/4 cup of the Romano cheese and 2-cups of the sauce
- Now add the balance of the ricotta cheese, Romano cheese, shredded mozzarella cheese, and sauce to a large bowl and stir this all together.
- Cook your ziti half way of the recommended time.
- Strain and add it to the bowl of cheese and sauce and fold it all together.
- Spread 1-cup of the reserved sauce in the bottom of a 9″ x 13″ baking pan.
- Put the pasta into the baking dish. Top with remaining sauce, Romano, mozzarella and ricotta
- Bake in a pre heated 350 degree oven for 30-45 minutes! You’ll see the sides bubbling then remove it.
Note: draining the Ricotta is critical in making a non watery ziti. Empty the ricotta into a strainer lined with cheese cloth and place the strainer over a large bowl. Cover the top with plastic wrap and allow this to drain for 24 hours in the fridge. Press any remaining liquid out of the ricotta.
For a very festive baked ziti top with sliced Mama Mancini’s meatballs.