Baked Ziti

I  know it’s the new year, and everybody is working out and trying to eat low cal. This is not a recipe that fits that plan. It is rich and creamy and full of flavor, but low cal it, most definitely is not. But let’s make it anyway because it’s so yummy!

Start by boiling your pasta and cooking it until it’s al dente. Drain and set it aside.

While that’s cooking, heat some olive oil in a large skillet. Brown some Italian sausage.

When the sausage is almost done, add some garlic and onions and cook until they’re tender.

Then add a can of tomato sauce and one can of diced tomatoes.

Add in some oregano and basil and let it simmer for 10 minutes.

While that’s all cooking, heat some whole milk and cornstarch in a small stockpot until thickened.

In a mixing bowl, combine some cottage cheese and 2 eggs. Mix in 1 cup of parmesan cheese. (For this step, I have used both the shredded cheese and the grated, both work equally well, so use what you have.)

Cut some mozzarella cheese into rough 1/2 inch sized cubes.

Add the milk/cornstarch mixture to the cottage cheese mixture. Because there’s eggs in there, and the milk is warm, you will want to temper in the milk, otherwise you may scramble some of the eggs. To do this, just add a couple spoonfuls of the warm mixture into the cool, and stir it around, this will raise the temp slowly. Then you can add in the rest of the warm milk mixture. Stir this all to combine.

Add in one cup of the tomato/sausage mixture, and stir to combine. Then add the cooked pasta and toss it all to coat.

Pour into a 9×13 baking dish, or 2 8×8 baking dishes. I usually go with the two dishes, one for dinner and one for the freezer.

Top with the remaining tomato sauce mixture.

Then top with the mozzarella and the remaining parmesan cheese.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Mmmm! Yum!

I realize this sounds like a lot of steps, but it really is worth it. It freezes well and tastes fantastic reheated. To freeze, just assemble it completely, then let it come to room temp. Cover it tightly with foil and stick it in the freezer.

Give this a try, you won’t be disappointed. And you’ll have a tasty dinner in the freezer for a busy day when you don’t feel like cooking!

here’s the printable….bakedziti

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