I love carbs. In any form. But especially when they’re coated in a yummy sauce and melty cheese. Enter this Pinterest miracle: a (supposedly) one-pot recipe for baked ziti, courtesy of Lauren over at Tastes Better From Scratch. It might not be as quick or easy as a package of Ramen or Easy Mac, but it is certainly more delicious and the ingredients won’t break the bank either!
“One Pan” Baked Ziti
- ½ lb. ground Italian sausage (I buy the “hot” kind that’s usually with the breakfast sausages)
- 1 can (15 oz.) diced tomatoes
- 1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 5-6 garlic cloves, minced (or you can just buy pre-minced garlic and eyeball it until it looks like enough)
- ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1 Tbsp. dried basil
- ½ tsp. dried oregano
- 3 c. water
- 12 oz. ziti or similar pasta (Kroger has a vegetable penne rigate if you’re trying to be more carb-conscious like my parents)
- ½ c. half & half or heavy cream
- ½ c. freshly grated parmesan
- ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 c. mozzarella, shredded
- Preheat oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit
- Add olive oil to a deep, 12-inch or larger oven-safe skillet over medium heat*
- Add sausage. Cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper flakes to the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, dried basil, and oregano. Stir well.
- Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5-10 minutes.
- Add the water and dry pasta. Bring to a boil.
- Cover, reduce heat to a low boil, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes or until noodles are tender.
- Stir in the half & half and parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle mozzarella evenly on top*. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until the cheese has melted and browned, about 5 minutes.
*Just a note: If you don’t have an oven safe skillet, you can prepare the sausage and pasta in the skillet and then transfer it to a baking dish before adding the mozzarella cheese and putting it in the oven. Works just the same, just means you’ll have a few more dishes to clean. (But if you’re making it with the intention of having leftovers, you can cover the baking dish more easily than you would a skillet!
There you have it folks! If you’re a pasta aficionado like me, you will not be disappointed by this recipe. It is a perfect solution to those days when you just want something warm and carb-y and yummy. Better yet, you don’t have to pay $15 at a fancy Italian restaurant for one serving of fancy pasta!