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Best Ever Baked Ziti Recipe

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This recipe for Best Ever Baked Ziti, by , is from The Mitchell/Mays Family Cookbook, one of the cookbooks created at FamilyCookbookProject.com. We'll help you start your own personal cookbook! It's easy and fun. Click here to start your own cookbook!

Pam Mays


1 pound whole milk or 1 percent cottage cheese
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1-1/2 cups Parmesan cheese, grated
1 pound ziti
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 teaspoon cornstarch
8 ounces whole milk mozzarella cheese cut into 1/4-inch pieces

Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat to 350. Whisk the cottage cheese, eggs and one 1 cup Parmesan together in a medium bowl; set aside. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a Dutch oven. Add one Tablespoon salt and the pasta and cook; stirring often, until nearly tender. Drain the pasta and leave in the colander. Do not wash the Dutch oven.

Meanwhile, heat the oil and garlic in a large skillet over medium heat until fragrant but not brown, about 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and oregano and simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup of the basil and the sugar, then season with salt and pepper.

Stir the cream and cornstarch together in a small bowl; transfer the mixture to the new empty Dutch oven. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until thickened, 3-4 minutes. Off the heat, add the cottage cheese mixture, 1 cup of the tomato sauce and half of the mozzarella, then stir to combine. Add the pasta and stir to coat thoroughly. Transfer the pasta mixture to a 9 X 13 baking dish and spread the remaining tomato sauce evenly over the top. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella and the remaining 1/2 cup of Parmesan evenly over the top of the dish.

Lightly spray a large sheet of foil with vegetable spray and cover the baking dish tightly. Bake for 30 minutes, remove the foil and continue to bake until the cheese is bubbling and beginning to brown, about 30 minutes longer. Cool for 10 minutes before sprinkling with remaining 2 Tablespoons of basil. Serve.




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