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Cook's Illustrated Baked Ziti Recipe

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This recipe for Cook's Illustrated Baked Ziti, by , is from The Ann Arbor 2nd Ward Cookbook , one of the cookbooks created at FamilyCookbookProject.com. We help families or individuals create heirloom cookbook treasures.

Linda Johnson


1 lb. (16 oz) cottage cheese (about 2 cups)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3 oz. grated Parmesan (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 lb. ziti or other short tubular pasta (like penne)
2 T. olive oil
5 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press
1 28-oz can tomato sauce
1 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 cup plus 2 T. chopped fresh basil leaves (or 1 T. dried basil)
1 tsp. sugar
3/4 tsp. cornstarch
1 cup heavy cream
8 oz. low-moisture mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/4 inch squares (about 1 1/2 cups)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk cottage cheese, eggs, and 1 cup Parmesan together in a bowl; set aside. Bring 4 quarts of water to boil in large pot. Stir in 1 T. salt and pasta; cook, stirring occasionally, until pasta begins to soften but is not yet cooked through, 5-7 minutes. Drain pasta and leave in clander. Set pot aside.
2. Meanwhile, heat oil and garlic in a 12 inch skillet over medium heat until garlic is fragrant but not brown, about 2 minutes. Stir in tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and oregano; simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes. Take off heat and stir in 1/2 cup fresh basil and sugar, then season with salt and pepper to taste.
3. Stir cornstarch into cream and simmer over medium heat in large pasta pot which was set aside. Cook until thickened, 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and add cottage cheese mixture, 1 cup tomato sauce, and 3/4 cup mozzarella, then stir to combine. Add pasta and stir to coat thoroughly with sauce.
4. Transfer pasta mixture to 9x13 baking dish and spread remaining tomato sauce evenly over pasta. Sprinkle remaining 3/4 cup mozzarella and remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan over top. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
5. Remove foil and continue to bake until cheese is bubbling and beginning to brown, about 30 minutes longer. Cool for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 2 T. fresh basil and serve.




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