Saturday, January 16, 2010

Baked Ziti

1 box of ziti
4 cups (32 ounces) marinara sauce
1 cup mascarpone or sour cream
1 cup whole milk ricotta
1 package imported Provolone cheese
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded whole milk mozzarella
1 large ball of fresh mozzarella, sliced

Optional: Italian sausage (hot and/or sweet, browned and sliced or crumbled), dark leafy cooked greens (like kale)

Preparing the ziti:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Cook the pasta al dente, according to package instructions.

Mix the cooked pasta with the marinara sauce. Spoon half of this mixture into the bottom of a large baking dish. With electric beaters, mix together the ricotta with the mascarpone (or sour cream) until smooth. Mix in about 1/2 cup of the grated parmesan cheese. Spoon 1/2 cup of ricotta mixture over the pasta, then follow with a layer of provolone cheese. Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella over the top.

Spoon the rest of the pasta over the shredded mozzarella. Top with slices of fresh mozzarella and sprinkle the remaining parmesan cheese over the mozzarella.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 400 degrees F for 35 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for about another 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.


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