I think that baked ziti is the Italian version of mac and cheese. I like to add a few nutritious components into this rich dish making it a “green” dish!!
PREP TIME: 15 minutes COOK TIME: 20-25 minutes OVEN TEMP: 375 °
5 ounces fresh baby spinach
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp sea salt
1 cup frozen peas
1 onion, diced
1 pound pasta, cooked according to directions
3 cups ricotta cheese, whole milk
8 - 12 ounces shredded mozzarella, part skim
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Tomato sauce, liberal amount
Optional: 2 broccoli crowns, bite size cut. Steam for 3 minutes
1.Cook pasta according to package instructions
3.Sauté the onions in olive oil and season with salt and garlic powder. *When they begin to turn translucent, add the spinach. Stir often until the spinach is wilted. Set aside until the pasta is done.
4.Take the ricotta cheese and add 1 cup of sauce and mix well.
5.In a large bowl, add the cooked pasta, all the vegetables, and the ricotta cheese mixture. Mix very well.
6.Add a generous amount of sauce to the bottom of the baking dish.
7. Add half of the mixture to the baking dish. Cover generously in sauce, then a layer of mozzarella cheese.
8.Add the rest of the mixture on top and repeat; a layer of sauce and then top with mozzarella cheese.
**Optional: If you would like to add steamed broccoli cuts then REPLACE STEP 7 WITH: cover generously with sauce, add broccoli, then top with mozzarella cheese.
9. Place in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
If you love the crunchy top of a baked ziti then you are going to go for a longer, large baking dish rather than a casserole dish!
Another way to know your ziti is perfect is if you are using a glass baking dish and can see the liquid boiling on the bottom and the top is golden you are good to DIG IN!
Jen Fiore has been cooking and baking gluten-free for herself and her family since 2003 & is happy to share her recipes with you!