Skillet-Baked Ziti

Click here for a PDF of this recipe without photos.

Like a number of the items on this blog, my friend Virginia turned me on to this.  The great thing about this recipe is the versatility.  It can be cooked quickly (30 minutes from start to finish) and in a single pan, making it a great weeknight dinner.  It can also be cooked in advance and finished much later in a hot oven.  You can also double or triple the recipe, using a pot instead of a skillet and transferring it to a baking dish before sprinkling with the Mozzarella and finishing in the oven.

Adapted from the Americas Test Kitchen Cookbook

  • 1 Tb olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 cups water
  • 12 oz ziti
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 oz grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves, minced
  • Fresh-ground black pepper
  • 4 oz shredded mozzarella cheese

30-minutes before you want to eat – Preheat oven to 475 degrees.   Heat oil in a large oven-safe skillet.  Add garlic, crushed red pepper, and ½ of the salt.  Saute about 1 minute, then add the tomatoes (with their liquid), water, ziti, and the remaining salt.

Cook for about 18 minutes, stirring often and adjusting heat to maintain a simmer.  After 18 minutes, the ziti should be just about tender.

Add the cream, parmesan, basil, and pepper.  Stir to combine.

10 minutes before you want to eat – sprinkle with the mozzarella and transfer pan to the oven.  Cook for about 10 minutes, until cheese is melted and beginning to brown.  Remove from oven and serve.


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