Skillet Baked Ziti

15 Sep

skillet penne

For the last year or so I’ve had to stay away from tomatoes and tomato-based dishes because of Sylvie’s intolerance to them. Let me tell you how much more difficult this made meal planning. But, the heavens have opened and it seems the issues have faded and I can now enjoy all things tomato. I’ve been wanting to try this recipe for a while now because it was recommended so highly from my sister, Annie. Plus it’s an America’s Test Kitchen recipe so you can’t go wrong there.

I was very pleased with the results of the this recipe. I was very skeptical as I was making it that it would be horribly bland, but that was not the case. It was super easy to throw together and was on the table in 30 minutes. Did I mention Sylvie scarfed it up? Yeah. This is a keeper.


Serves 4

“To complete this recipe in 30 minutes, preheat your oven before assembling the ingredients. If your skillet is not ovensafe, transfer the pasta mixture to a shallow 2-quart casserole dish before sprinkling with the cheese and baking. Packaged preshredded mozzarella is a real time-saver here. Penne can be used in place of the ziti.”

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 medium garlic cloves, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Table salt
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 cups water
  • 12 ounces ziti (3 3/4 cups; see note)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh basil leaves
  • Ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces whole milk mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 1 cup; see note)
  1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 475 degrees.
  2. Heat the oil in a 12-inch nonstick ovensafe skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the crushed tomatoes, water, ziti, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cover and cook, stirring often and adjusting the heat as needed to maintain a vigorous simmer, until the ziti is almost tender, about 15-18 minutes.
  3. Stir in the cream, Parmesan, and basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle the mozzarella evenly over the ziti. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until the cheese has melted and browned, about 10 minutes. Using potholders (the skillet handle will be hot), remove the skillet from the oven. Serve.

From: America’s Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook 


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