Baked Ziti – Fancy Type. suggestions for quick and not-so-fancy in here too.

Fancy Baked Ziti

Photos submitted by Bryan Dixon!

What You Need:

  1. 1 pound dried ziti pasta
  2. salt (consider kosher or sea salt or celery salt)
  3. 3 1/2 cups fast tomato sauce (click for tomato sauce recipe or get some pre-made sauce to cut back on time and fanciness.)
  4. 1 pound fresh mozzarella, half cut into 1/2-inch cubes and half thinly sliced (or, if you’re pressed for time, get the pre-sliced. If you’re trying to be healthy, consider skim-milk mozzarella. It’s a bit hard to find, but I’ve come across it on occasion.
  5. 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan (or you know, the stuff out of the can)
  6. black pepper (ground it yourself to be fancy – honestly grounding peppercorns that you grind yourself really does taste MUCH better than the stuff that’s floating about everywhere.
  7. red pepper flakes (notice how I made crushed red pepper sound fancy?)

What You Do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt generously, and boil the pasta until slightly firm.
  3. Toss the cooked pasta with the marinara sauce, cubed mozzarella, half the Parmesan cheese, black pepper, and pepper flakes.
  4. Transfer the pasta to an oiled (I like to just spray it lightly with olive-oil cooking spray) 9 by 13-inch baking dish. Cover the top of the pasta with the sliced mozzarella, and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan.
  5. Bake until lightly browned and hot, about 30 minutes.
  6. Serve immediately for ultimate satisfaction.

What It Will Look Like: