I have a confession to make. And it's a pretty major fat kid one. Baked ziti was one of my favorite late night go-to dishes in college (read: drunk food). Actually, it was baked ziti pasta pizza (let's say I was a little heftier back then). I loved picking off the pieces that had a crisp, golden crust and looked at it as two meals in one, both pasta and pizza (not really a good thing on a semi-frequent basis, I've come to realize).
This version is an ode to my favorite late-night meal with a slightly healthier twist. No pizza crust. The pasta tubes on the edge of the pan still get the crispiness but it's brightened with a sprinkling of fresh basil that adds a little green to the dish. I actually ended up using penne for this photograph because my grocery store ran out of ziti, but you can make it with either and it will do just as well.
Feel free to up the parmesan amount to a full cup if you want a creamier dish or even stir in some heavy cream or ricotta before putting it in the oven. Adding some sausage to the recipe could also be another delicious twist to try if you're feeling adventurous.
About the Author: Yasmin Fahr is a food lover, writer, and cook. Follow her @yasminfahr for more updates on her eating adventures and discoveries, which will most likely include tomatoes. And probably feta. Happy eating!
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