Baked Ziti from Cook’s Illustrated

Baked Ziti from Cook’s Illustrated

baked ziti1 lb 4% fat cottage cheese

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

3 oz. parmesan cheese, grated


1 lb ziti pasta

2 T. extra-virgin olive oil

5 medium garlic cloves, minced

1 (28 oz.) can tomato sauce

1 (14 1/2 oz.) can diced tomatoes

1 tsp. dried oregano

1/2 C. plus 2 T. fresh basil, chopped

1 tsp. sugar

Black pepper

3/4 tsp. cornstarch

1 C. heavy cream

8 oz. mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/4 inch pieces


Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk cottage cheese, eggs and 1 C. Parmesan together in medium bowl; set aside. Bring 4 quarts of water to boil in large Dutch oven over high heat. Stir in 1 T. salt and pasta; cook, stirring occasionally, until pasta begins to soften but is not yet cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain pasta and leave in colander. Meanwhile, heat oil and garlic in 12 inch skillet over medium heat until garlic is fragrant but not brown. Stir in tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and oregano; simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes. Off heat, stir in 1/2 C. basil and sugar, then season with salt and pepper. Stir cornstarch into heavy cream in small bowl, transfer mixture to Dutch oven set over medium heat. Bring to simmer and cook until thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove pot from heat and add cottage cheese mixture, 1 C. tomato sauce and 3/4 C. mozzarella, then stir to combine. Add pasta and stir to coat. Transfer pasta mixture to 13 x 9 inch baking dish and spread remaining tomato sauce evenly over pasta. Sprinkle with remaining 3/4 C. mozzarella and remaining 1/2 C. Parmesan over top. Cover baking dish tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue to cook until cheese is bubbling and beginning to brown, about 30 minutes longer. Cool for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 3 T. basil and serve.

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