Monday, December 5, 2011

Recipe: The Best Baked Ziti

In my efforts to incorporate more meatless meals into my family's diet, I have been searching for hearty dishes that will fill their bellies up.  Some recipes my family have loved and some they haven't.  Pasta dishes always win because they are satisfying and tasty.  Tasty, according to my family, because they usually have lots of cheese!  I came across this dish on Maggie's Vittles and Bits.  If you have not been to her MUST!  She has some fabulous recipes and this dish is a real winner!  We ate this dish up and enjoyed it with a salad and some crusty bread.  I used penne pasta because my little grocery store doesn't carry anything "fancy" like ziti.  Penne is pretty exotic around these parts.  I also made her Spicy Tomato Sauce and it is so hearty and delicious.  This dish was perfect and will be added to our regular dinner menu rotation.


The Best Baked Ziti
(original recipe by Maggie/Vittles and Bits)

16 oz ziti pasta (or penne)
2 cup small curd cottage cheese
2 eggs
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan or romano cheese
3 1/2 cup Spicy Tomato Sauce (or any good quality jarred sauce)
3/4 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cups freshly grated mozzarella cheese
2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
pepper, to taste

Combine cottage cheese, eggs and 1/4 cup parmesan cheese in a small bowl.  Set aside.  Grease a 13x9 baking pan and set aside.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Add pasta and cook about 5 minutes.  (The pasta will finish cooking in the oven.  This prevents the pasta from getting soggy.)  Drain pasta.  Return the now empty pot to the stove over medium-low heat.  Add cornstarch, garlic powder, cream and milk.  Bring to a simmer and cook until thickened, about 3-4 minutes.  Remove cream sauce from heat and add cottage cheese mixture along with 1 cup of the tomato sauce and 1 cup of mozzarella cheese.  Stir to combine and add pasta.  Stir to coat the pasta thoroughly with the sauce.  Transfer pasta to prepared baking dish and spread evenly.  Pour remaining 2 1/2 cups tomato sauce over the top and spread in an even layer.  Sprinkle chopped basil, pepper and remaining 1/4 cup parmesan over the top.  Then sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup (or more) mozzarella cheese.  Cover dish tightly with foil and bake for 45 minutes.  Remover foil and back and additional 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and serve.

Linked To:
*Everyday Sisters: Sharing Sundays
*The Sweet Details: Savory Sunday
*LambAround: Not Baad Sundays 
*Nifty Thrifty Things: Nifty Thrifty Sunday 
*Flamingo Toes: Think Pink Sundays 
*Petite Hermine: Sunday Linky Party
*My Sweet and Savory: Meatless Mondays
*Boogieboard Cottage: Masterpiece Monday 
*11th Heaven's Homemaking Haven: Homemaker Monday
*Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker: Your Recipe, My Kitchen 
*Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms: Melt in Your Mouth Monday 
*Delightfully Dowling: Mangia Mondays 
*A Southern Fairytale: Mouthwatering Monday 
*Marvelously Messy: A Marvelous Mess 
*Blessed with Grace: Tempt My Tummy Tuesday
*It's A Blog Party: Delicious Dishes 
*Mandy's Recipe Box: Totally Tasty Tuesday 
*33 Shades of Green: Tasty Tuesday 
*Permanent Posies: Tasty Tuesday Tidbits 
*Chef In Training: Tuesday Talent Show 
*From Mess Hall to Bistro: Made From Scratch Tuesday 
*Around My Family Table:  Turning the Table Thursday
*Miz Helen's Country Cottage: Full Plate Thursday 
*Somewhat Simple: Strut Your Stuff 
*Designs by Gollum: Foodie Friday 
*Six Sisters' Stuff: Strut Your Stuff Saturday
*This Chick Cooks: These Chicks Cooked  


  1. wow, that looks like cheesy goodness at its finest.

  2. Visiting from Tuesday's Tasty Tidbits. This would be a great meatless meal--very filling and satisfying.

  3. Wende - this sounds delicious! What's not to like about pasta & cheese right? Looks like perfect comfort for for sure. Thanks so much for linking up!

  4. That looks amazing! YUM!

    Stopping by from Full Plate Thurs