Creamy Baked Ziti

>> Thursday, April 28, 2011

I love this dish for all the veggies packed into the red sauce and the creamy tang that the sour cream gives it. Yum! It makes a lot so I always freeze half and serve half for dinner (and usually a couple of lunches too.)

If you're in a hurry, you can always skip making my red sauce and use a store-bought sauce.

Creamy Baked Ziti
2 T olive oil
1 small white onion, chopped
1 small eggplant, chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
8-oz mushrooms, sliced
1/4 c wine (you can use red or white - I always just use whatever I already have open)
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 28-oz cans tomato sauce
1/4 c parmesan cheese, grated
1 T worcestershire sauce
assorted fresh herbs - rosemary, basil, oregano, parsley
16 oz ziti, penne, or rigatoni
16 oz sour cream
2 1/2 c shredded Italian cheese blend, divided
1/4 c parsley, minced
salt and pepper, to taste

In a large sauce pan over medium heat, add olive oil. When oil is hot, add onion, eggplant, bell pepper, mushrooms and wine. Saute 5-7 minutes or until veggies are soft and wine has mostly evaporated. Add garlic and saute another minute. Add tomato sauce, parmesan, worcestershire sauce and fresh (or dried) herbs. Stir well. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Cover and allow to simmer while the noodles are cooking.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In another large pot, cook noodles according to package directions.

In a small bowl, stir together sour cream, 2 c Italian cheese blend and parsley.

Spray two casserole dishes with non-stick spray. Spoon a little red sauce on the bottom of each pan. Top with noodles. Gently spread a couple of tablespoons of the sour cream mixture on top of the noodles. Spoon red sauce over that. Repeat the layers one more time or until all parts have been used.

Bake uncovered for 30 minutes. Top with remaining 1/2 c mozzarella and bake 5 additional minutes.

(If you're freezing one of the casseroles, freeze it without baking.)


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