Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Four Cheese Baked Ziti

I love cheese. I love pink sauce. I love garlic. I love ziti. Therefore, this meal was right up my alley. However, I know that it will be right up EVERYONE's alley that tries it! This was definitely a all-time, definitely going on my "meals to impress the in-laws" list! This homemade pink sauce(tomato and cream sauce) was to die for...I will definitely be using it in other pasta recipes. Give this a shot...preferably when you are having company, they will love you!

Four Cheese Baked Ziti
Printable Version

8 oz. cottage cheese
8 0z. ricotta cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 large egg, lightly beaten
10 oz. ziti or similar pasta (like penne)

Pink Sauce
2 heaping teaspoons minced garlic
1 (14 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (7 ounce) can stewed tomatoes (pureed)
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 tablespoons dried basil
1 teaspoon sugar
Black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 cup heavy cream (or substitute whole milk but increase the amount of cornstarch to 1 teaspoons and the cooking time in step 3 by 1 to 2 minutes)

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Whisk the cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, egg and 1/2 cup of the parmesan cheese and 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese together in a medium bowl; set aside. Bring 2 quarts of water to boil in a large pot over high heat. Stir in 1 tablespoon salt and pasta; cook, stirring occasionally, until pasta begins to soften but is not yet cooked through, about 7 minutes (the pasta will finish cooking in the oven). Drain pasta and leave in colander. Do not wash the large pot.

While the pasta is cooking, place garlic in skillet and heat over medium heat. Stir in the tomato sauce, stewed tomatoes, sugar, basil and oregano; simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Take off heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Stir cornstarch into heavy cream and transfer mixture to the now-empty large pot the pasta cooked in. Set the pot over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook until thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. (Do not skip this step!) Remove pot from heat and add tomato sauce mixture and stir to combine. Add pasta and stir to coat thoroughly with sauce.

Transfer half of pasta mixture to a 8X8-inch baking dish. Drop cottage cheese mixture by spoonfuls over bottom layer of pasta. Pour the remaining pasta mixture over the top. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella and remaining 1/4 cup parmesan cheese over the top. Bake for 30 minutes.

Serves 4.

Adapted from: All that Splatters and My Kitchen Cafe

1 comment:

Finsmom said...

This could quickly become a new favourite at our house!