Thursday, October 9, 2014

Weeknight Dinner: Pizza Italiano Baked Ziti

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As I mentioned Tuesday, I decided this weekend I'd restart cooking.  Maybe not enough to kep the blog as up to date as I like, but we will do our very best to try!  I am heading out to Europe in 2 weeks time (in fact, exactly 2 weeks today I will be in Paris) for work.  Believe me, I know how lucky I am to be going and the fact that I'll be spending an entire weekend in Paris by myself seems like a delightful luxury.

I'm not trying to belittle it by any means but sometimes I think it would be nice to go somewhere on my own terms.  Like Italy.  A few weeks ago, my family hung out in the Bronx at Arthur Avenue and the Little Italy surrounding the famous street.  We ate our full while we were there, obviously.  But then John and I brought home some true treats like beautiful sopresseta and fresh, so fresh mozzarella.

We made a really delicious pizza that next week but I was still left with some sopresseta and tasty mozzarella.  So, I decided to throw it into a family favorite dish that I could make ahead and John could reheat on a night I was working late.  It's a little twist from the original but I feel like I'm doing that a lot lately.  Maybe it's just my frame of mind, or the autumn season which is one of my favorites.  This is a perfect make-ahead meal.  And so fabulously delicious.  It will make you take the next jet to Italy.  At least in our dreams.

Pizza Italiano Baked Ziti
Serves:  8
1 box ziti or penne pasta
8 ounces ricotta cheese
1/4 cup basil leaves, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup pasta sauce
6 ounces fresh mozzarella, diced and divided
4 ounces sopresseta, diced

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Cook the pasta according to package directions.  Drain and place in a large bowl with ricotta, bail, garlic, pepper, pasta sauce, 4 ounces of fresh mozzarella, and sopresseta.  Pour into a large casserole dish and top with remaining mozzarella.  Bake for 40-50 minutes, until fully cooked through.  Serve warm.


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Welcome! I'm Dani (aka the Growing Foodie), just a girl balancing her career and passion for all things edible in NYC. I hope you'll join me in my adventures in life, through food. (Click for More)
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