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Any success in making baked ziti (tomato-ricotta-shredded cheese basic variety) without preboiling the noodles. Would adding extra water and cooking it covered do the trick?

asked by allie over 6 years ago
8 answers 2577 views
401c5804 f611 451f a157 c693981d8eef  mad cow deux

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added over 6 years ago

Not unless you want soup instead. Commercial extruded pastas need to be boiled. But that step only takes about 12 minutes. I will sometimes undercook lasagne sheets if I want them to be a bit crisp at the edges when the dish comes out of the oven.

22b9ddc9 fc61 48a3 949e dee341974288  liz and dad
added over 6 years ago

I agree with pierino. It's not going to work. You could make a lasagna instead. I buy the Barilla no cook pasta sheets and they are pretty good. Nothing like homemade, but pretty darn good.

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added over 6 years ago

Agreed with both posters. The Barilla no-cook lasagne noodles are a snap to work with and why waste all of your other good ingredients on a baked ziti that is not going to work? I do run the pasta sheets under water for a second or two before layering them in the pan with the other ingredients. Probably an unnecessy step but it does not hurt.

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added over 6 years ago

Thanks -- my picky eater 6 year old won't eat lasagna, but will eat baked ziit...

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added over 6 years ago

I got this recipe from a friend - it's not the tomato based ziti you are looking for, but this is an awesome recipe in that you can cook it and serve it in one pot - no pre boiling [if you use oven proof pot like le creuset]. And all ingredients available at your local Trader Joe's. It's yummy :)

Four Cheese Baked Pasta Serves 8
4 slices bacon, chopped fine [or 1 cup diced ham, or chicken, etc.]
1 small onion, chopped fine
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth [you can use Better than Boullion also]
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 pound celentani, penne or ziti pasta
1 1/2 cups Quattro Formiaggio, divided use
1 cup frozen peas

Adjust the oven rack to upper-middle position and heat the oven to 500°F. Cook the bacon, onion, and garlic in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add the broth, cream, pasta, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, cover, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring frequently, until the pasta is tender, about 15 minutes.
Off the heat, stir in 1 cup of the cheeses and the peas and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a 2-quart casserole dish and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
(May be made up to this point the day before. Bring to room temperature before baking.)
Bake until the cheese is melted and spotty brown, about 5. Serve. If made ahead, bake 5 to 10 minutes covered until hot, uncover and bake until the cheese is melted and spotty brown.

*you can also scale the pasta & liquid so that you use an entire 1 pound bag of pasta - does not affect the outcome of the recipe.

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added over 6 years ago

Thanks - great idea re: one pot.

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added over 6 years ago

gigiaxline, what cheeses do you use? You say to use "1 1/2 cups Quattro Formiaggio", but after I Googled it I found that it's not a specific cheese but a combination of cheeses. Am I wrong?

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added about 6 years ago

Hi flgal - the Quattro Formiaggio is a four cheese blend that they sell at Trader Joe's. It's a shredded blend of Parmesean, Asiago, Fontina and Mild Provelone Cheeses. You can probably use any combination of the above, or probably even Swiss, Jack, or Cheddar. Whatever you wish!