Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Baked Ziti

I have made ziti before and really not been happy with it-most of the recipes I have tried have just been too dry. I got this recipe from a fellow food blogger and we loved it!! It feeds a good amount of people-we've been eating leftovers for 3 days, but no one has complained! This takes a little more time to put together and bake, so plan ahead. Enjoy!Baked Ziti
a bountiful kitchen

1 lb cottage cheese (1%)
2 lg eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups grated parmesan cheese
1 lb ziti
2 tbsp olive oil
5 med garlic cloves, minced
1 (28oz) can tomato sauce
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1 tsp sugar
black pepper
3/4 tsp cornstarch
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups (8oz) mozzarella cheese cut into 1/4 inch chunks

Heat oven to 350*. Whisk cottage cheese, eggs and 1 cup parmesan together in a medium bowl; set aside. Boil and salt water. Add pasta and cook until soft, but not cooked through-about 5 minutes. Drain pasta, rinse and leave in colander.
Meanwhile, heat oil in skillet with garlic until fragrant but not browned. Stir in tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and oregano; simmer until thick, about 20 minutes. Turn off heat, stir in 1/2 cup basil and sugar and season with salt and pepper.
Stir cornstarch into heavy cream in a small bowl. Transfer to small saucepan set over med heat. Bring to simmer and cook until thickened, 3-4 minutes. Remove pot from heat and add cottage cheese mixture, 1 cup of the tomato sauce mixture and 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese. Stir to combine. Add pasta and stir to coat thoroughly with sauce.
Transfer pasta mixture to a greased 9x13 baking dish and spread remaining tomato sauce mixture evenly over pasta. Sprinkle remaining 3/4 cup mozzarella and remaining parmesan over top. Cover baking dish tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
Remove foil and continue to cook until cheese is bubbly and beginning to brown, about 30 minutes longer. Cool for 10-20 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining basil and serve.

Serves 8+

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