Baked Ziti with Pesto


(4 votes) 3 4

This vegetarian pasta can be served as a side, and is filling enough for a main course.

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  • 1/2 lb. ziti
  • 2 Tbs. cooking oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 C. canned crushed tomatoes in thick puree
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 C. ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/2 C. mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 1/3 C. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 C. pesto sauce, store-bought or homemade

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Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Oil an 8x8-inch baking dish. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta for 7 minutes. It will be partially cooked. Drain. Rinse with cold water and drain again thoroughly. In a medium saucepan, heat 1 1/2 Tbs. of the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, salt, and bay leaf.Bring to a simmer over moderate heat and cook until very thick, about 10 minutes. Stir in 1/4 tsp. of the pepper. Remove the bay leaf. In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, 1 C. of the mozzarella, about half the Parmesan, the pesto, and the remaining ¼ tsp. pepper. Put half of the cooked pasta into the prepared baking dish and top with about a third of the tomato sauce. Spread the ricotta mixture on the sauce in an even layer. Cover with the remaining pasta and then the remaining sauce. Top with the remaining ½ C. mozzarella and the remaining parmesan. Drizzle with the remaining ½ Tbs. oil. Bake until bubbling, about 30 minutes. Let sit 10 minutes before cutting.

Reviews (1)

  • My suggestion is DO NOT rinse the pasta. Partially cook it and drain it only. We Italians do not ever rinse pasta and I will tell you why.. The sauce better adheres to the pasta and the pasta remains more flavorful. I am signed up for Italian recipes and the weekly recipes. This one was on it. I thought I would take a look at it Aside from that the recipe is straightforward and should make for a quick and easy dish.

    Flag as inappropriate DeborahDee  |  February 5, 2008

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