Monday, May 4, 2009

Skillet Baked Ziti

I saw this on America's Test Kitchen and immediately knew I had to share it with all of you. Usually they take an old recipe and decide what they don't like about it. Then they separate its components and give the entire recipe a makeover. Well, this time, they didn't upgrade the recipe, they upgraded the cooking method. The reason for the upgrade was that there were too many dishes to wash! You have your sauce pot, your pasta pot, your casserole dish, your mixing bowl. TOO MUCH! So, they streamlined the entire dish and made it in ONE skillet. BRILLIANT!
This is how I made it, although it's not exactly the same recipe. It's so simple, anyone can make it. REALLY!

olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
3 cups water
salt and pepper
12 oz uncooked ziti
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup (or more) shredded mozzarella cheese

Heat oven to 475F.
In a large oven proof skillet, stir together the olive oil and minced garlic. Turn the heat to medium and saute the garlic just to infuse the oil. Be careful not to burn. Add the tomatoes, water, salt, and pepper. Give it a good stir. Add uncooked ziti. Cover. Reduce heat to low. Simmer about 15-18 minutes. Stir in basil, ricotta cheese, and Parmesan cheese. Top with mozzarella cheese. Place skillet in oven (uncovered) for about 10 minutes, or until the mozzarella is melted and lightly golden.

Unless you have a really huge skillet, don't try to do a whole pound of ziti because it won't all fit!

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