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Baked Ziti Recipe


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     Baked Ziti

Category   Entrees - Maindishes
Sub Category   Vegetarian
Preptime   2 hours

1 lb. whole milk or 1 percent cottage cheese
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 oz. grated Parmesan (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 lb. ziti, or other short, tubular pasta
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
5 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 28 oz. can tomato sauce
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 c. plus 2 Tbs. chopped fresh basil leaves
1 tsp. sugar
black pepper
3/4 tsp. cornstarch
1 c. heavy cream
8 oz. low moisture mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/4 inch pieces (about 1 1/2 cups)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk cottage cheese, eggs, and 1 c. Parmesan together in medium bowl- set aside. Bring 4 qts. of water to boil in a large Dutch oven over high heat. Stir in 1 Tbsp. salt and pasta. Cook until pasta has begun to soften, but is not yet cooked through, 5-7 minutes. Drain pasta and leave in colander.
Meanwhile, heat oil and garlic in 12 inch skillet over medium heat until garlic is fragrant but not brown, about 2 min. Off heat, stir in 1/2 c. basil and sugar, then season with salt and pepper.
Stir cornstarch into heavy cream in small bowl and transfer mixture to now empty Dutch oven set over medium heat. Bring to simmer and cook until thickened 3-4 min. Remove pot from heat and add cottage cheese mixture, 1 c. tomato sauce, and 3/4 c. mozzarella, then stir to combine. Add pasta and stir to coat thoroughly with sauce.
Transfer pasta mixture to 13 X 9 baking dish and spread remaining tomato sauce evenly over pasta. Sprinkle remaining 3/4 c. mozzerella and remaining 1/2 c. Parmesan over top. Cover baking dish with foil and bake for 30 min. Remove foil and continue to bake until cheese is bubbling and beginning to brown, about 30 min. longer. COol for 20 min. Sprinkle with remaining 2 Tbsp. basil and serve.

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