real simple's baked ziti

my friend jen is very cool. we met in albuquerque right after her mission to korea. we were both working as interns at sandia labs that summer and became fast friends. we lost touch after i attended her baby shower 3 years ago, and recently decided to look her up. i was shocked to discover she lives in clinton, about 3 miles from me. she invited me to her house one night to make this tomato sauce from real simple. i was so excited to go! everyone who came was supposed to bring 6 pounds of tomatoes, and we would make the sauce and eat and have fun, then take some home to freeze. i ended up not being able to go, but still took over my tomatoes, and jen brought over two tupperwares full of sauce. it was SO good. i highly recommend it, especially if somebody else does all the work! i think the party idea is fun too, because you can print out cute labels from real simple and even little recipe booklets. fun.

so this is a recipe from real simple based on this tomato sauce recipe, but you can also use a jarred tomato sauce if you don't want to go to all the trouble of making it. let's get started.

you will need 12 ounces of ziti pasta, 2 cups fresh tomato sauce (or jarred pasta sauce), 1 bunch fresh spinach, 1 cup grated mozzarella, 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, and 1/2 cup ricotta. start by washing a bunch of spinach.
then tear off the stems. i actually just cut mine. probably wasteful but much faster.

cook your ziti according to package directions until al dente. i used a large saucepot, but it wasn't big enough. i recommend using your biggest soup pan, because you end up adding everything in here.when finished, drain into a collander.

and then put it back into your pot.
add your sauce, 1/2 cup of ricotta,
your spinach (i could only put in about half a bunch because i simply didn't have room for more, but it would have been better with the full amount of spinach).
1/4 cup of parmesan cheese,
and mix.

then pour the mixture into a 9x13 pan or 4 large ramekins. i don't have ramekins big enough but i think that would be so cute and fun for a party or small get-together.
and spread out evenly.
sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese
and 1/4 cup of parmesan.
oooh, pretty.
bake in a 400* oven for 15-20 minutes, until cheese has melted.
so easy and so delish.
baked ziti with fresh tomato sauce and spinach
12 ounces ziti (about 4 cups)
2 cups fresh tomato sauce (or jarred pasta sauce)
1 bunch spinach, thick stems discarded
1/2 cup fresh ricotta
1/2 cup grated parmesan (2 ounces)
1 cup grated mozzarella (4 ounces)

heat oven to 400*. cook the pasta according to package directions (in your very biggest pot). drain and return pasta to the pot. add the sauce, spinach, ricotta, and 1/4 cup of parmesan to the pasta and mix to combine. spread the mixture in a 9x13 baking dish or 4 large ramekins. bake until pasta is heated through and cheese has melted, 15 to 20 minutes.


Jenn said...

Yum-yum! I think I might try this tonight! =)

jkimball said...

I am glad you liked the sauce. You were missed!