Friday, September 28, 2012

Baked Ziti

When my daughter Sara and her friends were planning their pre-prom dinner, there were a lot of concerns about allergies, cost, timing, crowded restaurants, etc. SO . . . they had decided they would have a pot luck dinner and all the kids would bring something. All I could imagine was some poor soul arriving at the dinner with a pan full of gravy all over her brand new dress. So Sara's friend Emma and her parents hosted the dinner, and Sara and I planned a full menu that took everyone's preferences and allergies into consideration. We read every label three times, and put together dinner for a dozen prom goers. This was the main dish, and it is so easy, so good, and travels really well. I have also made double batches, because it is perfect to put into individual serving sized freezer containers.


1 lb. ziti (i actually like using trader joes organic penne)
@32 oz of marinara sauce (I use a can of Trader Joe's organic marinara)
1 lb ricotta cheese
8 oz grated mozzerella plus a little for sprinkling on the top, maybe another 4 oz?
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan plus some for the top
2 eggs
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbl chopped fresh parsley

Cook pasta according to directions, drain and place in large bowl. toss with a small spoon of the sauce to keep it from sticking.

Combine the ricotta, 8 oz of mozz, 1/4 c. parm, eggs, salt and pepper, whisk it all together. add to the hot pasta and toss lightly to mix through.

Spread a small amount of sauce in bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking pan. turn all the pasta into it. top with a layer of sauce, if you like you can keep some aside for serving , i use all of it. top with reserved cheeses. sprinkle with parsley.

Cover with foil, and bake in reheated 350 degree oven on the middle rack for 25 minutes. Allow it to rest for 20 minutes (yes, you have to wait). Serve with any leftover sauce that has been heated.

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