Saturday, September 3, 2011

Baked Ziti

Can I say yum? Baked ziti is so delicious, and freezes quite well (it also ends up usually making tons of leftovers in most cases). Its also one of the most affordable meals one could make, super comforting and quite fast if you have the sauce pre-made and frozen (as in, make a huge batch of sauce and your set). What more could you ask of a meal?

  • 1 pound ziti (I didnt have any so I used mezze penne lisce, which is what I had on hand)
  • 2 large onions, sliced into very thin half rings or about
  • Garlic (I used 5 cloves)
  • 6 slices provolone cheese
  • 8 oz container of  sour cream
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese
  • About 3 cups of sauce (I used 2 parts of my arrabiata vegetable sauce and one part meat sauce) 

  • The first thing you have to do is caramelize the onions, in a bit of butter and oil, at medium-low heat. In my experience, this process takes a good long while, at least 30 mns if you want a good flavor, but it can be done in less. Here is a good video on how to do this. The chef uses balsamic vinegar, which is what I use, but you dont absolutely need that. When the onions are halfway thrrough, throw in your garlic.
  • When the onions are done, throw in the sauce in the same pan to keep that glaze at the bottom of the onion pan running through your sauce. That way you lose none of your flavors, and only have to clean one pot (double score!). Keep the heat at medium to prevent scorching.
  • Next, heat some salted water in a pot to cook your pasta, but only al dente, because it finishes cooking in the oven, so overcooking it in the water would mean a mushy mess in your plate. That should take about 5-6 minutes, no more.
  • By now the sauce temperature should have evened out and slightly bubbling away. Remove from heat and stir in the sour cream.
  • At the bottom of a pyrex glass pan (the ones you use if you want a lasagna), put some of the sauce, then layer half the pasta, half the sauce, and the provolone cheese. Repeat and top with the mozza. Top the cheese with some fresh cracked pepper.
  • Bake for about 20 mns. EAT!

I didnt include a picture because although ziti makes a delicious dish, its ugly in photograph LOL

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