October 1, 2012

Skillet Baked Ziti

I love this simple recipe!  I've made baked ziti many times but this is the first recipe I've seen with only one pan involved!  I do enjoy making more elaborate dishes, but it's always nice to have an easy one like this for those crazy, busy days.  A great meal you can whip up and not have the top of your stove look like a newly erupted volcano!  For this pasta, all you need is a large oven proof skillet-no kidding!  No colander, no saucepan,  just one skillet.  If you don't have one, get one-it will soon be your best friend!  I recently made this for a cooking demonstration for a group of gals.  It's an easy, inexpensive, yet delicious meal you can have on the table in 30 minutes!  Add a fresh salad and a loaf of Italian bread and dinner's set!

1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves fresh garlic, crushed
1 small can (14-1/2 oz) crushed tomatoes
1 small can (14-1/2 oz) diced tomatoes
3 cups water
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
(I use Aleppo pepper)
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 ounces uncooked ziti
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan
dash black pepper
1-1/2 teaspoon dried basil
pinch sugar
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
additional grated parmesan for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 475 degrees.  Place 1 tablespoon olive oil and 3 cloves crushed garlic in a cold, large ovenproof skillet.  Turn heat to medium and saute garlic in the olive oil, stirring constantly until foamy and fragrant.  Add both crushed and diced tomatoes, the 3 cups water, pepper flakes, and salt.  Stir well and bring to a simmer.  Add the ziti, stir well to combine and cover.  Cook on medium heat about 15-18 minutes until pasta tests done.  Stir occasionally to prevent pasta from sticking, but be sure to replace lid.  When the ziti is cooked, reduce heat and add milk, grated parmesan, dash of black pepper, basil and a pinch of sugar.  Mix well and sprinkle shredded mozzarella over the top.  Bake, uncovered, in preheated oven for about 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and sprinkle with additional grated parmesan.

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