If you like lasagna, but don’t want to bother with the fuss, make Baked Ziti instead! It has the same basic ingredients and taste as a classic lasagna, but is way easier to make. As an added bonus, it makes incredible leftovers, and freezes beautifully.
Its ingredients include Ziti, ricotta cheese (preferably homemade), mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, egg, and Bolognese Sauce (preferably homemade – I made the Bolognese Sauce yesterday specifically for this!).
I cooked the Ziti in boiling salted water to the al dente stage according to the package directions, drained and rinsed it, and let it cool. Then I mixed together the ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, and egg in a large bowl. I added the Ziti, and stirred the mixture until the Ziti was coated. Next, I added some of the Bolognese Sauce, and stirred the mixture until everything was combined.
Because it’s just two of us, I decided to make three small Baked Zitis as opposed to one large one. Part of my thinking in making this in the first place was that we’re approaching the peak of hurricane season, and I wanted to have ready to heat meals in the freezer in the event we’re unlucky enough to be hit. In fact, there’s a system that is about ready to enter the Gulf, and the National Hurricane Center has it heading directly towards us – UGH!
Anyway, I used my 8¼-inch x 6¼-inch Pyrex dishes, and built the Baked Ziti as follows: A layer of the pasta, layer of additional Bolognese Sauce, and shredded mozzarella cheese.
I repeated this one more time, and finished the Baked Ziti off with some grated Parmesan cheese.
I baked one of the Baked Zitis in a preheated oven at 375° F – the rest went into the freezer for a later date.
After about 25 minutes, the Baked Ziti was hot and bubbly, and the melted cheese on the top was a golden brown. I let the Baked Ziti sit for about 5 minutes before serving it with a Caesar salad and a crusty baguette. Yum!