As most of you know, I'm a huge fan of Ree Drummond's cooking (aka The Pioneer Woman) and I've made many of her dishes for my family. Yesterday, she made two great dinners, one pasta and one steak! I needed to make marinara today as my freezer was bare so I thought dinner could be her baked ziti dish. I'm using GF penne pasta so it is a baked penne dish instead, but the cut of pasta shouldn't change the taste.
Ree also made only enough sauce for this dish, but I made a large batch of marinara and only used a portion. This batch will make about 16-20 servings. I can usually get 4 dinners from one batch of sauce (pastas, pizzas, calzones, etc). You can freeze it in smaller portions for 1-2 months.
Since GF pasta comes in 12oz boxes instead of 16oz, I cut down on the other ingredients also. I used an 11x7 casserole dish instead of a 9x13.
The review from my family is it is a keeper recipe and my sons predicted this blog post will go viral with people rushing home to cook this dish :o) They absolutely loved it and believe me when I say they have no qualms about telling me when they don't like something! So here is my GF version, I hope you give it a try and enjoy it as much as we did!!
The first thing I did was make the marinara sauce and it was ready, I put 4 cups in a separate bowl and set it aside. I boiled a package of GF pasta. I always boil the pasta for a minute less than al dente which may seem really firm, but the pasta comes out just right after baking. If you follow the package cooking times, your pasta will be disintegrated when the dish finishes cooking.
Brown a pound of Italian sausage and drained it on a paper towel. Combine the sauce, sausage and a dash of red pepper flakes.
Into the cheese mixture, combine the pasta which has been rinsed under cool water.Then you can bake it for 25 minutes in a 375*F oven. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
GF Baked Ziti:
4 cups marinara (recipe below)
8 oz Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
1/3 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
In a separate bowl, mix together riccotta, egg, mozzarella, Parmesan, salt and pepper. Into the cheese mixture, combine the pasta. Add half of the sauce to the pasta, mix thourghly. In a greased casserole, add half of the pasta mixture. Layer on half of the remaining sauce and half the remaining mozzarella. Repeat all three layers. Bake for 25 minutes in a 375*F oven. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
5-6 (15oz) cans tomato sauce
1 (28oz) can diced tomatoes
2 (6oz) cans tomato paste
1 tbsp oregano
1 tbsp basil
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tbsp sugar
3 bay leaves
Over a low-medium heat, warm oil in a large pot. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until soft and translucent, about 2 minutes. Stir frequently. To the pot, add all the spices except the bay leaves, let cook another minute and the rest of the ingredients to the pot. Let simmer for 2-3 hours to thicken. Taste test a few times and add any additional spices per your taste.