Friday, November 11, 2011

Baked Ziti Casserole

Baked Ziti Casserole
Recipe from: Family Feasts for $75 a Week by Mary Ostyn

1 pound uncooked ziti pasta
1 tablespoon butter
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
4 cups tomato puree or one 28-ounce can
1/3 cup Spaghetti Seasoning Mix (see recipe below)
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350*F. Coat a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish with non tick cooking spray.
2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta, and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes; drain.
3. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook stirring frequently, until browned. Add tomato puree and spaghetti seasoning; simmer 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in sour cream.
4. Spread pasta over bottom of prepared casserole dish. Pour sauce over pasta. Sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake until cheeses melt, 20 to 30 minutes.

Spaghetti Seasoning Mix
makes about 2 cups (or 6 seasoning "packets"
3/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup onion powder
1/4 cup dried parsley
1/4 cup garlic powder
3 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons dried basil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons ground sage

Place all ingredients in a medium-size container with a tight-fitting lid; shake well until combined. Divide equally among 6 snack-size zip-top plastic bags, or store in the jar and scoop out 1/3 cup for every quart of crushed tomatoes that you use.

Our verdict: This was a great vegetarian dish! We really enjoyed this! I accidentally cooked my pasta a little too long, so it got a bit mushy, but it was still tasty. I also used whole wheat pasta, which might have been part of the reason why it had a different consistency. I use almost exclusively whole wheat pasta. The only change we made was to sprinkle a few red pepper flakes on the top when we ate it - it just added a little kick. I think the next time, I'll add them into the sauce!! I will make this again for sure!!

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