Baked Ziti

These last few days have been focused around my son’s nine year old surprise birthday party, and not a whole lot else. We focused on the real basics, from what he really loves to do (baseball and collect bugs), to getting the items he enjoys eating (pizza and chicken tenders). This left but only one choice and to gather food ideas for the adults. Sure, I could have made pizzas for the five kids, but my wife decided it would be easier to just order out, and I agreed. So as I had to please the adults, I focused on what everyone would like. I started by making two types of chicken wings for my father-in-law, one fried and one Asian inspired that was slow cooked, then grilled to perfection. Those wings sold me right there, but I could tell that the ladies were not buying the idea of cold beer and wings throughout the day. So, I focused on another retake on the cobb salad, this time focusing on incorporating different vegetables. Now this one two of the ladies over, but now I could tell my sister-in-law was not sold as she stated she was not a big fan of blue cheese.

Baked Ziti Recipe

I knew that my next dish would get them entering comfort land as you have to keep in mind that we all were dealing with overexcited and overtired kids, from ages 3 to 9, and we all needed something comforting at the end of the day. Welcome the baked ziti.

Baked ziti is one of those Italian style dishes that reminds me a lot like lasagna, however you simply incorporate a different noodle, in my case  rigatoni which is a bit larger than ziti or penne pasta. This simple throw together meal is great any time of the year and is sure to please any type of palette.

Ingredients:

  • Homemade sauce, or your favorite jar of sauce
  • 1 box of rigatoni pasta (you could use penne), cooked and drained
  • 15 oz part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup of grated parmesan reggianno
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of pepper
  • 8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tbsp dried basil

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. In the meantime, get a large casserole dish out and ladle in the red sauce, covering the bottom. Next get a large bowl and add the ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup of the parmesan cheese, 3 oz of the mozzarella, the egg, salt, pepper, and basil and mix well. Toss in the warm noodles and combine. Add this mixture to the casserole dish and cover with red sauce, the remaining parmesan and mozzarella cheese.

Bake for 20 minutes or until the top of the baked ziti is bubbly and the cheese is golden. Serve immediately with a great salad or garlic bread. Enjoy.

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Dax Phillips

Thank you for visiting my website. Truly, I do appreciate it. My free time and stress reliever is cooking for my family, friends, and everyone in between. The recipes you find on this site are those that I have either created, been part of, or those that I simply enjoy and have made my own in some shape, form, or other. My focus has always been on comfort food, because at the end of a long work day, you want something comforting. I currently am the father of three children, and married to a wonderful wife of thirteen years. There is nothing fancy with these recipes, just simple, and I will admit, not so simple ingredients, and a simple kitchen corner I can call my own. I learned early on that cooking and bringing family together was very important. After all, this notion of being together at dinner time was instilled early on by my parents. There are many memories of being in the kitchen with my parents, watching them cook, or preparing meals, or those home cooked smells while waiting for dinner. My parents who worked full-time, always had home cooked meals during the week, with the exception of Friday nights where we would enjoy a Wisconsin fish fry, and often on late afternoons on Sunday, where we would order Ann's pizza. I tend to cook by making things up. As a home cook, I think you have to take chances, and add or subtract ingredients that make up a dish, and make them your own. Remember to taste, and taste often. If a dish has potential, try it again, and make it your own. You should also note that I do not count calories, or break down recipes into grams of anything. To me, that's a bit boring. My philosophy is that if the food is good, eat it, and eat it in moderation. Life is just too short not to enjoy good food. Commonly Asked Questions: Can I use your photography/content on my website/blog? Please do not redistribute my photography or recipes without my permission. All of the recipes and photography on this website are my own unless noted, and is subjected to copyright  If you’d like to use a photograph or a recipe, please contact me for permission. Will you review my product/book/site? I am available for recipe development, food photography and/or styling, travel/press events, product reviews, brand promotion/ambassador, and sponsored posts. If you are interested in working with me, or if you have a question/comment regarding a recipe or about my blog, please send me an email.

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