Photos submitted by Bryan Dixon!
What You Need:
- 1 pound dried ziti pasta
- salt (consider kosher or sea salt or celery salt)
- 3 1/2 cups fast tomato sauce (click for tomato sauce recipe or get some pre-made sauce to cut back on time and fanciness.)
- 1 pound fresh mozzarella, half cut into 1/2-inch cubes and half thinly sliced (or, if you’re pressed for time, get the pre-sliced. If you’re trying to be healthy, consider skim-milk mozzarella. It’s a bit hard to find, but I’ve come across it on occasion.
- 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan (or you know, the stuff out of the can)
- black pepper (ground it yourself to be fancy – honestly grounding peppercorns that you grind yourself really does taste MUCH better than the stuff that’s floating about everywhere.
- red pepper flakes (notice how I made crushed red pepper sound fancy?)
What You Do:
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt generously, and boil the pasta until slightly firm.
- Toss the cooked pasta with the marinara sauce, cubed mozzarella, half the Parmesan cheese, black pepper, and pepper flakes.
- Transfer the pasta to an oiled (I like to just spray it lightly with olive-oil cooking spray) 9 by 13-inch baking dish. Cover the top of the pasta with the sliced mozzarella, and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan.
- Bake until lightly browned and hot, about 30 minutes.
- Serve immediately for ultimate satisfaction.
What It Will Look Like: