Friday, May 23, 2014

Baked Ziti

Until 2 days after Isaac was born, I had never heard of Baked Ziti.  A neighbor brought me some, this recipe I believe, and it was delicious.

A couple weeks later another lovely friend in the neighborhood brought me some, and mentioned it was another friend's recipe.  WOW - even more delicious!  I think I hoarded the leftovers for myself.

A couple weeks later, the friend who's recipe it happened to be called to say she was dropping something off.  (I have great neighbors, don't I?)  I was pleasantly surprised to discover it was another pan of Baked Ziti, especially since the second ultra delicious recipe had been her recipe!  We popped it in the oven for dinner, and enjoy it yet again.  (And yes, I again hoarded the leftovers, but by this time everyone but me was pretty over Baked Ziti.)

I am now addicted, and happy for any opportunity to make it.  Recently I heard a new neighbor was having knee surgery, and their house was already under major renovation.  I offered to bring dinner - ziti!  (**This recipe makes two 13x9 pans worth, so plenty for your family and another for the freezer or to share.)  Before I made it I remembered we had a potluck dinner coming up, so I added another half to the recipe and made a third pan so I could selfishly enjoy it there too.

I really like to white sauce, so I make a little more than it calls for.


Cook 2 boxes of ziti or penne pasta, drain and set aside.

Cook 2 lbs. sausage in large skillet, then add:
1 onion, chopped           
1 28 oz. can tomato puree      
1 16 oz. diced tomatoes    
1 6 oz. can tomato paste  
1 tsp. marjoram                 
1 tsp. oregano
1 Tbsp. parsley                             
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. thyme                                                  
2 Tbsp. sugar            
6-7 garlic cloves, minced   
Salt and pepper to taste        

WHITE SAUCE                     
Simmer in sauce pan until smooth and creamy:
1 cube butter
2 8 oz. packages of cream cheese
2/3 c. parmesan cheese, shredded
1 pint whipping cream
2 tsp. minced garlic

In a large pan, layer ziti noodles, white sauce, red sauce.
*Top with grated mozzarella.

Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

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