Baked Ziti Casserole

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READY IN: 1hr 30mins
SERVES: 8-10
UNITS: US

INGREDIENTS

Nutrition
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DIRECTIONS

  • Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk cottage cheese, eggs, and 1 cup Parmesan together in medium bowl; set aside. Bring 4 quarts of water to boil in large Dutch oven over high heat. Stir in 1 tablespoon salt and pasta; cook, stirring occasionally, until pasta begins to soften but is not yet cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain pasta and leave in colander (do not wash Dutch oven).
  • Meanwhile, brown ground hamburger with diced onion, set aside. Heat oil and garlic in 12-inch skillet over medium heat until garlic is fragrant but not brown, about 2 minutes. Stir in tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, oregano; and browned hamburger, simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes. Off heat, stir in ½ cup basil and sugar, then season with salt and pepper.
  • Stir cornstarch into heavy cream in small bowl; transfer mixture to now-empty Dutch oven set over medium heat. Bring to simmer and cook until thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove pot from heat and add cottage cheese mixture, 1 cup of your tomato sauce mixture, and ¾ cup mozzarella, then stir to combine. Add pasta and stir to coat thoroughly with sauce.
  • Transfer pasta mixture to a prepared 13- by 9-inch baking dish and spread remaining tomato sauce evenly over pasta. Sprinkle remaining ¾ cup mozzarella and remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan over top. Cover baking dish tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
  • Remove foil and continue to cook until cheese is bubbling and beginning to brown, about 30 minutes longer.
  • NOTE: If you don't have heavy cream, whole milk can be substituted by increasing the amount of cornstarch to 2 teaspoons and increasing the cooking time in step 3 by 1 to 2 minutes. Avoid preshredded mozzarella cheese, as it does not melt well.
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