1 lb

Dried Ziti pasta


Kosher salt

3 1/2 cups

Quick marinara sauce (recipe below)

1/2 cup

Freshly grated parmesan, divided

1/4 cup

Grated pecorino Romano

1 lb

Fresh mozzarella, half cut into 1/2 inch cubes and half thinly sliced


Freshly ground black pepper


Crushed red pepper or to taste



1.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt generously, and boil the pasta until al dente, tender but still slightly firm. Drain.

3.  In a large bowl, toss the cooked pasta with the marinara sauce, 1/4 cup of the Parmesan, the romano, and the cubed mozzarella pieces. Season with the black pepper and red pepper to taste, and mix until well combined.

4.  Transfer the pasta to an oiled 9- x 13-inch baking dish.

5.  Cover the top of the pasta with the sliced mozzarella, and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan.

6.  Bake until lightly browned and hot, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately







2 tbsp

Extra-virgin olive oil


Medium onion, diced (about 3 tbsp)


Cloves garlic, chopped

3 1/2 cups

Whole, peeled, canned tomatoes in puree, (one 28 oz can), roughly chopped


Sprig of fresh thyme


Sprig of fresh basil

2 tsp Kosher salt

Freshly ground black peper



1.  Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.

2.  Sauté the onion and garlic, stirring, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes.

3.  Add the tomatoes and the herb sprigs and bring to a boil.

4.  Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.

5.   Remove and discard the herb sprigs.

6.  Stir in the salt and season with pepper to taste.

7.  Use now, or store covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 2 months. Yield: about 3 1/2 cups