Friday, March 13, 2009

Baked Ziti

1 16 ounce box of ziti, mostaccioli noodles, or penne pasta
3-4 cups of grated parmesan cheese
2 packages of sliced provolone cheese or 18 slices from the deli
3 to 4 cups of grated mozzarella cheese
1 lb. sausage or ground beef (optional)

Italian Sauce:
1 – 6 ounce can of tomato paste
3-15 oz cans of tomato sauce
1/2 cup dry red wine
2 cloves minced garlic
1 TBS fresh chopped parsley
1 TBS oregano
1 TBS basil (if using fresh, increase to 3 TBS each)
1-2 tsp. crushed fennel seeds

Brown sausage in a medium saucepan. Drain any oil. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 1-2 hours. For dishes like baked ziti, simmering isn't necessary and can be assembled right away. If sauce becomes to thick, thin with additional wine.

Spoon a layer of sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan. Add a layer of noodles, enough so you can’t see the bottom of the pan. Layer each of the following:

1 cup of shredded mozzarella
1 cup of grated parmesan
6 slices of provolone

Add another layer of sauce and repeat layers.T op with a little sauce and shredded cheese. Bake 30-45 minutes at 350 degrees.

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