Welcome back to Foodie Tuesday! Today's foodie recipe I will share is the Baked Ziti recipe I mentioned HERE

I love this recipe for a few reasons:
1. It's pretty easy – not too labor intensive, and no crazy ingredients.
2. It's fool-proof (even I haven't been able to mess it up yet!)
3. It makes a lot and freezes well – so you can make one batch (or double it) and freeze part of it.
4. It's hearty. So hearty, in fact, that no meat is needed! My carnivore-of-a-husband was skeptical at first, but is now a believer…no meat needed for this one!
5. It's the best baked ziti recipe I have ever tasted!!
So here's how you do it…

Best Baked Ziti
Original recipe source and photo HERE
Note: I doubled the recipe so my pictures will show HUGE portions. It's easy to double, so you might as well!
  • 1pound whole milk cottage cheese or 1 percent cottage cheese (see note)
  • 2large eggs , lightly beaten
  • 3ounces grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 1/2 cups)
  •  Table salt
  • 1pound ziti or other short, tubular pasta
  • 2tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 5medium garlic cloves , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 5 teaspoons)
  • 1(28-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1(14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1teaspoon sugar
  •  Ground black pepper
  • 3/4teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1cup heavy cream (see note)
  • 8ounces low-moisture whole-milk mozzarella cheese , cut into 1/4-inch pieces (about 1 1/2 cups) (see note)
  • 1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk cottage cheese, eggs, and 1 cup Parmesan together in medium bowl; set aside. 
    Bring 4 quarts of water to boil in large Dutch oven over high heat. Stir in 1 tablespoon 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 (do not wash Dutch oven).
  • I didn't have enough Ziti to double the recipe so I used Penne instead. Worked just fine!
    2. Meanwhile, heat oil and garlic in 12-inch skillet over medium heat until garlic is fragrant but not brown, about 2 minutes. 
    This baby is my best friend…it's so easy!
    Stir in tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and oregano; simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes. Off heat, stir in ½ cup basil and sugar, then season with salt and pepper.
  • 3. Stir cornstarch into heavy cream in small bowl; transfer mixture to now-empty 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 cup tomato sauce, and ¾ cup mozzarella, then stir to combine.

    Add pasta and stir to coat thoroughly with sauce.
  • 4. Transfer pasta mixture to 13- by 9-inch baking dish…

     …and spread remaining tomato sauce evenly over pasta. Sprinkle remaining ¾ cup mozzarella and remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan over top. 
    Cover baking dish tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
  • 5. 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 2 tablespoons basil and serve. 

    So good, pretty easy, you'll love it! Serve with french bread and a nice salad and you're set!