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"Baked1/4 cup salad oil (preferably olive oil)
1 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 clove garlice, crushed
1 can (2lbs+ Italian Tomatoes (or may use crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce)
1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
2 Tbsp chopped parsley (or dried parsley)
1 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil leaves
1/4 tsp pepper
1 pkg. (1 lb.) ziti (macaroni)

Cheese Layer

2 large cartons Ricotta Cheese (15 oz each) - consider using Skim Ricotta, or partially skim

1 pkg 8oz mozzarella cheese, diced
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs
1-2 Tbsp Chopped parsley (dried, or fresh)
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Parmesan Cheese - 3-4 Tbsp (grated)

1) TO MAKE SAUCE: In large pot (preferably 6+ qt Pot), saute onion and garlic \'tilgolden brown. This should take about 9 or 10 minutes. Add tomatoes with the liquid, (or your can of crushedtomatoes, or can of sauce, depending upon which product you chose to use), tomato paste, 1 1/2 cups water, 2 Tbsp. parsley, 1 Tbsp salt, sugar, oregano,basil, and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Mix this well. Mash tomatoes with fork (if used the Italian tomatoes instead of sauce etc). Simmer, coveredfor one hour, stirring occasionally.

2) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook box of ziti following directions on package.

3) TO MAKE CHEESE LAYER: In large bowl, combine ricotta, mozzarella, 1/3 cup parmesan,eggs, parsley, salt, and pepper. Beat with wooden spoon until blended.

4 Spoon a some sauve into 5 qt casserole. Place a third of the ziti as the bottom layer,then the cheese mixture, then the remaining sauce. Sprinkle sauce with 1 Tbsp Parmesan. Repeat again twice.

5) Bake, uncovered, 45-50 minutes, or until center bubbles.

Serves 8 people well. If you have side salads, will probably serve 10.

Crowd Coming? Or do you merely have a large family of good eaters? Then, you may use the 42 oz size of Ricotta, and double the tomato sauce (or tomatoes) and double the ziti. Yum - Serves a crowd. Make two trays!

SPECIAL NEEDS VERSION (if can\'t eat Riccotta)If there is one person among your group who cannot have fat or who cannot have Riccotta cheese,make theirs by coating bottom of small over-proof baking dish with the sauce you made (above), then place layer of cooked ziti (or other cooked noodles) on the sauce.

Next, sprinkle mozzarella on that layer of sauce, and mix lightly so that mozarella is only slightly mixed in with sauce and a bit of the ziti below. Add layer of sauce on top.

Sprinkle layer with mozzarella lightly. Coat mozzarella with sauce, mix mozzarella intosauce lightly to make sure sauce covers it. (Optional- a shake or two of parmesan ontop.)

Bake this in its own oven-proof baking dish. Your guest will have his/herown small piping hot version of baked ziti to enjoy, though not as authentic as theprimary one listed above.


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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful:
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ziti, May 25, 2004 - 07:15 PM
Reviewer: Anonymous from USA
it was kind of hard to make but SO SO Worth it.

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