The funny thing, it has not been even 24 hours since I learned about it. I was perusing one of my favorite food blogs – Serious Eats… and in one of the Talk threads there was a discussion about making mac & cheese without boiling the pasta first. Then, one of the participants – his/her name is hanak– mentioned this recipe for Baked Ziti without even boiling the pasta. I always get stumped at what to do for lunch… so when I read this today, my lunch dilemma was immediately solved. I would do this while I finished some stuff at the computer. God bless hanak and the Baked Ziti recipe…
I modified the recipe a little – as you know… can’t bear to make a recipe “by the book” not even once. Here is the recipe as it was given to me today and with notes on the modifications I made to it today at 1PM:
THE EASIEST BAKED PENNE
8oz whole wheat pasta – I used penne, but ziti or any tubular pasta would work 28oz can of crushed tomatoes – I used a 26oz carton of Pomi crushed tomatoes 6 tbs extra-virgin olive oil 2 tsp chopped garlic Salt and Pepper to taste Fresh Mozzarella – optional Grated Parmesan cheese – optional
Soak the dry pasta in the olive oil for around 20 minutes.
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
Add the crushed tomatoes, garlic, salt and pepper to taste.
Bake for about 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.
This is a picture of the pasta at this point. It is DELICIOUS just like this!!!! A bit oily to my taste, so maybe the next time I will try to see if I can cut the oil in half… but believe me, it’s been a while I tasted a pasta that I would eat as is, without any cheese. This one is awesome. I even bragged to my mom about it already…
I decided to use up some leftover fresh mozzarella cheese… so I added a few pieces in the dish, sprinkled some grated parm/romano cheese and put it back in the oven with the residual heat after I turned it off. It is really good, but as hanak said… it does not need it.
Thanks a lot to my fellow online foodies, but specially to hanak and this awesome Baked Pasta recipe… they are all a source of inspiration and hunger-relief.