Pasta is my ultimate comfort food: Whenever I'm feeling down, tired, or super hungry, pasta with slightly spicy tomato sauce is the dish I crave the most. And this recipe for baked ziti satisfies like almost nothing else can. Because, let's get serious, what's better than layers of creamy ricotta, gooey mozzarella, and nutty parmesan in between tender, tomato-covered noodles? I really can't say. Unless we were going to start talking about dessert...Click here to see Cozy Comfort Food Recipes.
I often throw together this pasta (a one-stop meal!) when I've had a long, busy day. The only thing I need to buy is the chicory — the rest of the ingredients have a permanent spot in my pantry — so I don't even have to come up with a shopping list.
Prepping the ingredients for this recipe is easy enough, so the dish comes together rather quickly and that's just what this hungry, tired cook needs on such nights!
But the best part about this bowl of pasta is that every bite is as delicious as it is nourishing. The earthy greens, the spicy chile peppers, the chewy pasta, the savory, crunchy breadcrumbs — everything you could possibly want, or crave — is in this one beautiful bowl.
Growing up, my mom didn't cook very many American foods; mostly we stuck to traditional Indonesian dishes. However, she had a particular fondness for casserole, for whatever reason. So when it was casserole night, we always ate the same casserole — a mix of leftover sandwich meat from the school week, usually Oscar Mayer ham, chopped up Kraft singles, diced chicken breast, and elbow macaroni all held together by some sort of creamy concoction I could never readily identify. It was then baked in the oven until all of the elbow macaroni on top turned crunchy and the sides burnt.
I am not happy to say it, but I have to say it — my mother is a wonderful cook and despite having gone to culinary school, I still have no clue how to make many of the traditional dishes she made in my childhood, but casserole night was a night I dreaded. I understood its purpose as a catch-all for anything left in the refrigerator, but I didn't understand why it couldn’t taste better.
Thus, since I started running Recipe SWAT Team, I knew that one week, I would have to confront this challenge: to make a casserole that I would be thrilled to eat. Here's what I came up with.
Click here to see Casserole Recipe Redux
Ingredients: 1 lb ziti 1 cup ricotta cheese 16 oz tomato or spaghetti sauce 6 oz mozzarella cheese, grated 4 oz mozzarella cheese, sliced 1/4 grated Parmesan cheese salt and pepper Cook ziti as directed-slightly undercook for al dente. Drain. ...
If you want to use penne, you certainly can do that with this recipe. Recipe courtesy of Mary Ann Esposito, television celebrity chef on Ciao Italia, is one of my favorites. Here is her recipe for Drunken Ziti NOTE From Mary Ann: Lambrusco, slightly frissante wine, perfect with robust foods, is also good in this easy to make sauce for Ziti Ubriachi or Drunken Ziti. NOTE: Cooking time does NOT include time to cook pasta.
Ingredients: Coarse salt and ground pepper 8 ounces ziti rigate (ridged) or other short pasta 1 cup part-skim ricotta 1 large egg, lightly beaten 3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella 1 jar (24 to 26 ounces) best-quality ...
from New York, USA1 lb package ziti, cooked and drainedSauce:11/4 cup olive oil1 cup onion finely chopped1 garlic clove crushed1 can of Italian style tomatoes 2 lb.3 0z.1 can tomato paste 6 0z.2 Tbs. fresh chopped parsley1 Tbs. sugar1 tsp. ...