Baked Ziti

by Liz Freckleton



  1. Put oven rack in middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Whisk the cottage cheese, eggs, and 1 cup of the Parmesan together in a medium bowl and set aside.
  3. Bring 4 qts of water to a boil in a large pot over high heat.
  4. Stir in 1 TBSP of salt and the pasta; cook, stirring often, for about 5 to 7 minutes, just shy of being all the way cooked.
  5. Drain the pasta and leave in the colander (do not wash the pot).
  6. Meanwhile, heat the oil and garlic in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat until the garlic is fragrant but not brown, about 2 minutes.
  7. Stir in tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and oregano, and simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes.
  8. Off the heat, stir in 1/2 cup of the basil and the sugar, then season with salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Stir the cornstarch into the cream in a small bowl; transfer the mixture to the now-empty pot set over medium heat.
  10. Bring to a simmer and cook until thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and add the cottage cheese mixture, 1 cup of the tomato sauce, and 3/4 cup of the mozzarella; then stir to combine.
  11. Add the pasta and stir to coat thoroughly with sauce.
  12. Transfer the pasta mixture to a 9x13 pan and spread the remaining tomato sauce evenly over the pasta.
  13. Sprinkle the remaining 3/4 cup mozzarella and the remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan over the top.
  14. Cover the baking dish tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
  15. Remove the foil and continue to cook until the cheese is bubbling and beginning to brown, about 30 minutes longer. Let cool for 20 minutes.
  16. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 TBSP basil and serve.