- 1 yellow onion, several cloves of fresh garlic
- 1 approx. 15oz box Ziti pasta
- 1 regular size (26oz) jar of to tomato sauce-I used Ragu Mama's Special Garden
- 1 jar of Salsa (I used Pace medium spice chunky)
- 1 15oz container of Ricotta cheese (I used non-fat)
- 1 bag of shredded mozzarella and 1 bag of shredded Parmesan
- water, olive oil, coarse ground black pepper, and crushed red pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
- Slice the yellow onion and mince the cloves of garlic. Cook on medium heat in olive oil in a skillet with a tablespoon of coarse black pepper.
- In a large bowl, combine the onions and garlic with the jar of pasta sauce, 1/2 the jar of salsa, the entire container of ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup of mozzarella, 1/2 cup Parmesan, 1 and 1/2 cups of water, 2 tablespoons of crushed red pepper, a few more shakes of black pepper, and most of your unboiled box of Ziti. Stir it all around!
- Spoon the mixture evenly into a 13X9-inch baking dish (a large baking dish), cover with foil, and bake for 55 minutes.
- Remove from oven, remove foil, top with mozzarella and Parmesan and bake another 5 minutes without the foil.
- Let it sit a few minutes before serving and then dig in!
Delicious Factor: 4.5/5 stars and tastes great leftover too. Brendan says it reminds him of a favorite meal from childhood, and I loved the cheesy texture and the spices from the salsa and crushed red pepper. Honestly though, it would have been worth it just to see Brendan's face when he realized we weren't eating frozen pizza for dinner. I served this with Merlot, but while at the store, I also bought a 6-pack of one of his favorite beers, which we're having tonight...with frozen pizza. Hey, I can't always be Wonder Woman.
I'm including a picture here. I also served this with my very own Stacy's Sweet Strawberry Salad (like that alliteration? Yeah, I've taken poetry classes), my staple to bring to dinner parties. I will share that recipe, but I feel that warrants a blog post all it's own, and right now, I have to promise great things in order to increase my readership.
Anyway, Brendan and I received another wonderful surprise. A "thesis semester" gift basket from his parents from Zingerman's. This huge package arrived at our door, it was a wooden crate filled with all sorts of delicious goodies. The best part of all, all of it minus the salami, is vegetarian! I can't wait to try the chocolate sourdough bread, the natural peanut butter and honey, the Vermont cheese, the brownies, the coffee cake, and the list goes on and on! I know that I'm already obsessed with the only two things I've tried yet, these vegetarian/vegan fruit gummies and these delicious macaroons. I'm including a picture of what our gift looked like, in case anyone is thinking of sending a thoughtful present to someone for any reason (Valentines, birthday, whatever), this is a perfect idea. As for my cupboards, they are no longer bare!
<3 Stacy, Lola & Zoe
Oh, and I almost forgot. Zoe wants me to tell you that her and Lola love the packaging. This huge box is their new favorite thing.