HTCE Fast: Broiled Ziti

All the flavors of a classic baked ziti, but more bubbly crust and way less time. Crowd-pleasers don’t come much easier than this.

Salt
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for greasing the baking sheet
1 medium onion
2 garlic cloves
One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
Pepper
1 pound ziti
1 pound mozzarella cheese, preferably fresh
4 ounces Parmesan cheese (1 cup grated)

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Prep | Cook

1. Bring a stockpot of water to a boil and salt it.

2. Put 3 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Trim, peel, and chop the onion.
Peel and mince 2 garlic cloves.

3. Add the onion and garlic to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally until the onion softens, 3 to 5 minutes.
Grease a rimmed baking sheet with olive oil.
Turn the broiler to high; put the rack 4 inches from the heat.

4. When the onion is soft, add the tomatoes, stirring them to combine, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat so the mixture bubbles gently, and cook, stirring occasionally; if the sauce gets too thick, add a splash of pasta-cooking water.

5. When the water boils, add the pasta and stir occasionally. Start tasting after 5 minutes.
Chop or grate 1 pound mozzarella.
Grate 1 cup Parmesan.

6. When the pasta is tender but not mushy, drain it and return the pasta to the pot. Add the tomato sauce and half of the mozzarella and stir. Transfer the pasta to the rimmed baking sheet and spread it in an even layer. Top with the remaining mozzarella and the Parmesan.

7. Broil until the cheese is bubbly and brown and the top layer is crisp, 2 to 5 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes before serving.

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Variations

  • Creamy Broiled Ziti: Add 1 cup ricotta cheese to the pasta along with the tomato sauce in Step 6.
  • Broiled Ziti with Sausage: Before adding the onion to the skillet, brown 12 ounces crumbled Italian sausage.
  • Broiled Ziti with Olives and Feta: Add 1 cup chopped pitted kalamata olives along with the tomatoes in Step 4. Substitute feta cheese for half of the mozzarella and omit the Parmesan.

Photos by Nick Traverse

Posted in American, Italian, Mark Bittman Books, Recipes

One Comment

  1. Dan said...

    It’s been so long since I’ve had this dish, and then, it was made by someone else. Gotta make it for myself soon!

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