I didn’t feel like going to the store tonight, so dinner was based strictly on what I had at home. After a quick scan of my fridge and pantry, I settled on baked ziti. I had no ricotta, so it’s not your typical baked ziti. I also noticed that I had a container of cherry tomatoes, so I decided to incorporate them into the dish. I’m so glad that I did because they added bursts of great flavor!
Start by gathering all your ingredients (ziti, crushed tomato, s&p, crushed red pepper flakes, dried basil & oregano)…
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Boil water in a large pot for the pasta. Once boiling, season with salt and add the pasta. Cook according to the package directions.
Meanwhile, work on the tomato topping and the sauce…
- Heat a couple of tablespoons of EVOO in a skillet over medium-high heat.
- Chop several cloves of garlic.
- Add the garlic to the EVOO and sauté until golden, about 1 minute. (Be careful not to burn the garlic! Keep your eye on it!)
- Slice 1 package of cherry tomatoes in half.
- Add the tomatoes to the garlic.
- Season with s&p, and sauté until the tomatoes start to pop.
- Once the tomatoes are finished, remove them with a slotted spoon. (Try to keep most of the garlic and EVOO in the skillet.) Reserve the tomatoes in a bowl.
- Add 1 large can of c ruched tomatoes to the garlic.
- Season with s&p, crushed red pepper flake, dried oregano, and dried basil.
- Stir to combine, lower the heat, and simmer until the pasta is ready.
- Just before the pasta is done, add about 1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese.
- Stir to incorporate the cheese.
- Add the cooked pasta to the sauce.
- Stir to coat all of the pasta in sauce.
- Add about 1 cup of shredded mozzarella.
- Mix well to combine and melt the cheese.
- Transfer the pasta to a 9” by 12” baking dish.
- Evenly distribute the cherry tomatoes on to of the pasta.
- Sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese.
- Add about 1 more cup of shredded mozzarella to the top.
- Bake at 375 degrees until the cheese on top is melted, about 15-20 minutes.