Monday, February 29, 2016

Baked Ziti




I grew up on pasta, literally... which is exactly why my mom has difficulty believing that I actually have a food blog with a whole bunch of recipes. She remembers me skipping the meat, fish and just craving a pasta dish.

But, there was one time I couldn't even think of eating pasta. I was 25, expecting my first born daughter and struggled with the worst morning sickness ever.  My morning sickness was so strong, even the anti-nausea pills stopped their effect... I chewed on ginger and lemons... still I had to run to the washroom at least 5 times a day for the first 5 and half months of my pregnancy. I remember counting the days, checking off the dates on my calendar until my first trimester would be over. Through it all, oddly, overcoming morning sickness made me a tolerant person, and I had the most perfect little blondie-ny baby a Jewish mother could ask for. 

Today, like many moms, I feed my kids a fair share of pasta and the pasta dish of choice my daughters crave is Baked Ziti.  The most important part of this dish is making sure you use the right cheeses and a quality marinara sauce. You'll notice that I used American cheese, in addition to mozzarella cheese, it's totally done on purpose, it adds texture and depth to the taste.  So if you are a busy  mom on-the-go like myself, be sure to turn to this recipe to feed your family. Enjoy!


BAKED ZITI
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Prep time 10 min | Total Time: 30 minutes | Serves 6 | Dairy 


INGREDIENTS

INSTRUCTIONS

400 grams of pasta of choice penne, rigatoni or macaroni.

5 slices of American Cheese

1 1/2 cups of mozzarella

3/4 cup of ricotta cheese

2 tbsp of butter

2 cups of marinara sauce

Kosher salt and ground pepper,
to taste






1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees, prepare a rectangular baking dish.

2.  Boil a pot of salted water, cook the pasta al dente.

3.  Drain the pasta, add the butter, ricotta cheese and slices of American Cheese, salt and pepper (to taste).

4.  Spread marinara sauce on the bottom of your rectangular baking dish.

5.  Add the pasta in the baking dish, top the pasta with the remaining marinara sauce.

6.  Top the pasta with the shredded mozzarella cheese , ground pepper and cover the dish with tinfoil paper.

7.  Bake in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes until the cheese is nicely melted and even a bit brown around the edges.