Jan 232014
 

The cheesy home-style goodness of this Italian staple is complemented by creamy vodka sauce and just a hint of spiciness.

ziti_featured

Baked Ziti with Spicy Vodka Sauce
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
The cheesy home-style goodness of this Italian staple is complemented by creamy vodka sauce and just a hint of spiciness.
Author:
Recipe type: Pasta, Main Dishes, Vegetarian, Sauces, Marinades and Rubs
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. box of tubular pasta (ziti, penne, rigatoni, etc.)
  • 1 24 oz. jar of vodka sauce or Homemade Vodka Sauce*
  • 1½ c. mozzarella cheese, divided
  • ½ c. fontina cheese*, divided
  • 15 oz. tub of ricotta cheese
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • ½ tsp. Italian seasoning

*HOMEMADE VODKA SAUCE
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • ¾ c. vodka
  • 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • ½ tsp. salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare Homemade Vodka Sauce*, if desired.
  3. Cook pasta for one minute less than al dente package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  4. While pasta is cooking, mix mozzarella and fontina cheeses together in a small bowl and set aside.
  5. Transfer cooked pasta to a 9x13 baking dish.
  6. Pour sauce over pasta and toss to coat evenly.
  7. Add the garlic powder, cayenne pepper, crushed red pepper, and Italian seasoning.
  8. Spoon ricotta cheese over pasta and stir slowly to incorporate evenly.
  9. Add approximately 1 c. of the mozzarella/fontina cheese mixture to the pasta and stir slowly to incorporate evenly.
  10. Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
  11. After 20 minutes, sprinkle the remaining 1 c. of mozzarella/fontina cheese mixture over the top of the pasta.
  12. Continue baking for another 10 minutes or until the cheese on top is melted and bubbly.

*HOMEMADE VODKA SAUCE
  1. Heat olive oil in a deep saucepan over medium high heat.
  2. Add onions and garlic. Saute for 2-3 minutes until onions are translucent.
  3. Pour in vodka and crushed tomatoes.
  4. Bring sauce to a boil and reduce heat.
  5. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. Add heavy cream and salt.
  7. Simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
Notes
* another ½ c. of mozzarella cheese (equally 2 c. total) can be substituted for the fontina cheese, if desired.

 

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