Thursday, December 9, 2010

Baked Ziti with Three Cheeses

A favorite phrase of mine: "Bake until bubbly."
The layers of cheese and sauce in this dish make it a supreme comfort food. The best thing about making it yourself is, you can make it the way you like. For example, I like lots and lots of sauce, and slightly less noodles. But that's just me. You can make it any way you want!

Baked Ziti with Three Cheeses

1 jar best quality marinara sauce (I like Rao's)
1/2 C Ricotta cheese
1 C shredded Mozzarella
1 C shredded Parmesan
8 oz Rigatoni pasta
1 T flour
1 T olive oil
1 T butter
1 C milk
dash of Nutmeg

Prepare noodles by boiling in a big pot of salty water. While they are boiling, shred your cheeses. Next, make a white sauce. Starting with a hot pan, warm up your butter and olive oil. Add the flour, and whisk while it toasts. Remove from heat, and whisk in the milk. Reduce slightly, and add the Ricotta. Then add a dash of Nutmeg.

Time to layer! In your favorite casserole dish, layer half of the noodles, followed by half of the white sauce, half of the marinara, half of the Mozzarella, and half of the Parmesan. Repeat layers, and bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.
Serve with soup, salad, garlic bread, or all three! 

Note: This warms up well, in an individual casserole dish. Drizzle with a little olive oil, top with some fresh cracked pepper, and pop into your mini oven for 12 minutes at 350 degrees.

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