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Friday, January 9, 2015

Baked Ziti with Homemade Sauce

Baked Ziti is a comforting favorite that’s simple to prepare. It can be customized with different types of meat and sauces each time you make a batch. You can even make several batches and freeze for weeknights that you won't want to cook. Or, if you are in a hurry you can use a jarred sauce. 
To make a great meal, serve a big dish of baked ziti, garlic bread, and a fresh salad.

Baked Ziti with Homemade Sauce

Ingredients
1 pound dried ziti pasta
Kosher salt
3 1/2 cups Quick Tomato Sauce, recipe follows
1 pound fresh mozzarella, half cut into 1/2-inch cubes and half thinly sliced
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch red pepper flakes
Directions
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt generously, and boil the pasta until al dente, tender but still slightly firm. Drain.

Toss the cooked pasta with the marinara sauce, cubed mozzarella, half the Parmesan cheese, black pepper, and pepper flakes. Transfer the pasta to an oiled 9 by 13-inch baking dish. Cover the top of the pasta with the sliced mozzarella, and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan. Bake until lightly browned and hot, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately.

Quick Tomato Sauce:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound sweet and or spicy Italian sausages, casing removed and crumbled

1/4 medium onion, diced (about 3 tablespoons)

3 cloves garlic, chopped

3 1/2 cups whole, peeled, canned tomatoes in puree, (one 28-ounce can), roughly chopped

Sprig fresh thyme

Sprig fresh basil

2 teaspoons kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook the sausage until beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Add the onion and garlic, stirring, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes more. Add the tomatoes and the herb sprigs and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.

Remove and discard the herb sprigs. Stir in the salt and season with 

Recipe from Food Network
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