Give me your best baked ziti recipe--no meat, please.
thanks! Need a comfort food meal tonight...this weather is really getting to us.
I make a "non-italian" one. I roast butternut squash and onions, then add that to a lb of cooked zita along w/2 bags of preshredded sharp chedder (sharp is good to balance the sweetness of the squash and onions) and a can of diced tomatoes (drained). Maybe a bit of heavy cream (1/4 - 1/2 cup) then top w/breadcrumbs and bake. Obviously this is a quickie-version and you could make a better one by shredding good cheese, etc.
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The Feb 1995 Bon Appetit has a great recipe for a baked penne with tomatoes, olives and two cheeses. We've fixed it both with Italian sausage and without and it's wonderful either way. Epicurious may have it as they have Bon Appetit recipes. If not, I'll be glad to write it out. It's easy, makes a ton and is wonderuful cold weather comfort food.
The December issue of Cook's Illustrated contained a baked manicotti recipe that is easy and really good - I made it for a big group recently and everyone was impressed. It uses no-boil lasagna noodles, rolled around the filling, rather than stuffing the filling into cooked pasta. I won't transcribe it here, but someone has done so on another board (http://www.finerkitchens.com/swap/for...).
The sauce is made from canned tomatoes and fresh basil, so it has a fresh, light taste that is unusual in baked pasta dishes. I highly recommend!
I make a baked ziti with chicken that is easy and comforting. Cut up one pound boneless, skinless, chicken and saute in olive oil. Add a chopped onion and a can of roasted tomatoes, and a two cups of tomato sauce, salt, pepper and some basil. Toss with a pound of cooked ziti and a mixture of fresh mozarella, fontina and parmesan cheeses. Top with a generous layer of mozarella and bake for 45 minutes @375 degrees. Serve with salad and hearty bread.