Better Baked Ziti

Better Baked Ziti

Baked ziti can be a delicious comfort dish, or a train wreck of burnt cheese, lumps of tomatoes, and greasy pasta. Avoid these mistakes by combining cheese with a cream and tomato sauce and bake it until the top is just starting to brown.
  • Prep: 30 min
  • Cook: 50 min - 1 hour
  • Total: About 1 hour 30 min
  • Serves 8 to 10
Better Baked Ziti

Carbohydrate Counts

Carbs-per-gram ratio: 0.4133

Serving Size 250g (about 103g carbs)

Carb calculations Weight Carbs
Ziti pasta 464g (340g)
Crushed tomatoes 794g (52g)
Diced tomatoes 411g (14g)
Sugar 8g (8g)
Whole milk cottage cheese 454g (20g)
Cornstarch (2g)
Heavy cream (16g)
Net Weight 3005g (1242g)

* Multiply serving weight in grams by the carbs-per-gram ratio to calculate the total estimated carbs. Provided for informational purposes only. Consult your doctor for insulin dosing advice.

  • Move oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Pasta
  • 4 quarts water
  • In a large stock pot, bring water to a boil. While water is coming to a boil, begin preparation for sauce.
  • 1 tablespoon table salt
  • 464g / 1 pound ziti pasta
  • Add salt and pasta to water and cook until pasta is soft but not fully cooked, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Drain pasta and leave in colander. Reserve pot for cooking heavy cream (below).
  • Simple Tomato Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • In a large saucepan or medium Dutch oven, heat olive oil and garlic over medium-high heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  • 794g / 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
  • 411g / 14 ounces diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Add tomatoes and oregano to saucepan or Dutch oven and stir to combine. Simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes.
  • ½ cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 8g / 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Remove pot from heat and add basil and sugar. Stir well. Season with salt and pepper as desired. Set aside.
  • Simple Cream Sauce
  • 2 large eggs
  • Whisk eggs in a medium bowl.
  • 454g / 1 pound whole milk cottage cheese
  • 2 ounces grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 cup)
  • Add cottage and Parmesan cheeses to bowl with egg and whisk to combine. Set aside.
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • In a small bowl or measuring cup, stir cornstarch and heavy cream together.
  • Heat cream over medium heat in the now empty stock pot used to cook pasta. Bring to a simmer and cook until thickened, about 2 to 4 minutes.
  • reserved cottage cheese mixture
  • 1 cup reserved tomato sauce
  • 4 ounces shreeded mozzarella cheese
  • Remove from heat and add reserved cottage cheese mixture, tomato sauce, and mozzarella. Stir well to combine.
  • Assembly and Baking
  • reserved pasta
  • Add pasta to pot with cream sauce and stir to coat evenly with sauces.
  • Transfer pasta mixture to a 13-by-9 inch baking dish.
  • remaining tomato sauce
  • 4 ounces shreeded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 ounce grated Parmesan cheese (about ½ cup)
  • Top with remaining tomato sauce and sprinkle evenly with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
  • cooking spray
  • Lightly spray one side of aluminum foil with cooking spray to prevent the cheese from sticking to it. Cover the dish (oil side down) with aluminum foil and bake at 350°F for 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes remove foil and continue to cook until cheese is bubbling and golden brown, about 20 to 30 additional minutes.
  • Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack, about 10 to 20 minutes.
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • Sprinkle top of ziti with fresh basil and serve with rosemary olive oil bread.
From . ( Adapted from Cook's Illustrated.
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