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Grassie's Baked Ziti Casserole

Baked_Ziti_shutterstock_517536754Recipe by Deirdre Imus, The Imus Ranch: Cooking for Kids and Cowboys
This recipe makes enough so you’ll have leftovers to reheat for another meal.  The casserole keeps well in the refrigerator for several days, and it’s so delicious that you’ll be happy to serve it again.

I recommend using all organic non GMO ingredients.

Preparation Time:  Approximately 30 Minutes


12        Ounces ziti

1          Small head broccoli, separated into florets

1          Cup peeled and diced carrots

2          Tablespoons olive oil

1          Red onion, minced

1          Clove garlic, minced

1          Tablespoon minced fresh rosemary

2          Tablespoons minced fresh basil

1          Tablespoon minced fresh sage

1/2       Cup balsamic vinegar

1          25-ounce jar tomato-basil sauce

1          Cup chopped zucchini

4          Cups grated soy mozzarella cheese or mozzarella cheese

1/4       Cup grated soy parmesan cheese or parmesan cheese

Cooking Time:  Approximately 45 Minutes


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add the ziti, and boil for 5 minutes.  Add the broccoli and carrots; cook 5 to 7 minutes longer, until the pasta and vegetables are tender.  Strain the pasta and vegetables and run them under cold water to stop the cooking.  Set aside.

Heat the oil in a medium pot over medium heat.  When the oil is shimmering, add the onion, garlic, rosemary, basil, and sage and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.  Add the vinegar and boil 1 to 2 minutes to reduce it by half.  Add the sauce and when it begins to simmer, add the zucchini and the reserved pasta mixture; stir well.

Transfer the mixture to a 4-quart casserole and add the mozzarella; stir to distribute it evenly throughout.  Sprinkle with the parmesan and bake 35 to 40 minutes, until bubbly.  Serve at once.


Makes 10 to 12 servings

Reprinted with permission from the National Bestseller, The Imus Ranch:  Cooking for Kids and Cowboys by Deirdre Imus. Published by Rodale, Inc.


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