BEST AND ULTIMATE BAKED ZITI
If you don’t have Italian seasoning in the pantry, use 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon dried basil and 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme.
1 pound ziti (can sub penne) pasta
Extra virgin olive oil
1 pound bulk Italian sausage or ground beef or pork
1 large onion, chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary (or basil), minced
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 large jar of marinara sauce (about 32 ounces) or make your own tomato sauce
1/2 pound of mozzarella cheese, grated
1 heaping cup of ricotta cheese
1 cup grated parmesan or pecorino cheese
1 Boil the pasta: Heat a large pot of water (2 quarts of water) to a strong boil. Add a tablespoon of salt. Add the pasta and cook at a rolling boil, uncovered, until the pasta is al dente—edible but still a little firm to the bite.
Drain the pasta through a colander. Toss with a little olive oil so the pasta does not stick together while you make the sauce.
2 Brown the meat: While the water is heating in the previous step, start on the sauce. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium-high heat. When the oil is shimmering hot, add the bulk sausage or ground meat. Break up any large chunks of sausage as it cooks. Brown well …