Baked Ziti with Crunchy Italian Salad and Garlic Bread

Serves: 4

The classic Italian supper comes together remarkably quickly -- garlic bread bakes alongside the ziti, and a green salad is tossed in mere minutes.
Total Time: 40 mins

Yield: servings: 4

Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins


coarse salt and ground pepper
8 ounces ziti rigate (ridged) or other short pasta
1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 (24-ounce) jar best-quality tomato sauce (about 3 1/2 cups)
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
pepper, , to taste
1/2 loaf Italian or French bread (5 ounces)
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 garlic cloves, , minced
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 head butterhead lettuce, torn
2 bunches arugula


Step 1 Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente, according to package instructions; drain and reserve.

Step 2 In a small bowl, combine ricotta, egg, 1/4 cup Parmesan, and half the mozzarella; season with salt and pepper.

Step 3 In the bottom of a shallow 2-quart casserole dish, spread half the tomato sauce. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning. Sprinkle with salt & pepper. Top with ziti, then ricotta mixture and remaining sauce. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan and remaining mozzarella. Place casserole on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake until top is browned and sauce is bubbling, 20 to 25 minutes.

Step 4 Meanwhile, prepare garlic bread: Make deep, even cuts into the bread, about 1/2 inch apart, without cutting through the bottom. In a small bowl, combine butter and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Brush garlic butter between cuts in bread. Wrap bread loosely in aluminum foil, and bake with ziti during last 10 minutes of baking.

Step 5 In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar and oil; season with salt and pepper. Add lettuce and arugula, and toss to coat. Serve baked ziti with salad and garlic bread.


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