Baked Ziti - Augostino's Baked Ziti Recipe

Baked Ziti

Baked Ziti
Baked Ziti
In the town where I grew up for years was a great place named Augostino's. One of their signature dishes was a baked ziti that was out of this world. A couple of months ago I was asked if I knew how to do it - so I brushed off my old notes on previous attempts and gave it another whirl. I asked two friends of mine who had worked there how to make it - and while they didn't remember the recipe they did remember a few details that really helped (thanks Mark and Steve!). I named this a 'cover' - as when one band does a remake on another band's older song.

  1. You'll need:
    • 1 pound(s) of ziti - or mostacioli pasta
    • 2 ounce(s) of cans diced tomatoes
    • 6 ounce(s) of tomato paste
    • 1 large onion, diced
    • 1 tbsp. of olive oil
    • 1 tbsp. of anchovy paste
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 1 large sprig of thyme
    • 1 salt to taste
    • 2 tbsp. of dried oregano
    • 4 ounce(s) of pepperoni
    • 4 ounce(s) of sliced mushrooms
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 16 ounce(s) of shredded mozzarella cheese
    • 8 ounce(s) of cream cheese, room temperaturePreheat oven to 350F.
  1. Cook ziti according to package directions - just until al dente. Don't overcook - they'll finish off in the oven.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, saute onion and garlic in olive oil for about five minutes, or until fragrant.
  3. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, anchovy paste, bay leaf, oregano, thyme and salt - I use at least a teaspoon to start. Cook sauce for about twenty minutes, or until it has thickened and begun to reduce. Taste and adjust for seasoning.
  4. Remove sauce from heat. Combine sauce with zit and stir well to combine.
  5. In a 9x13 casserole dish, place a layer of the ziti. Top with a layer of half the pepperoni, a layer of half the mushrooms, a layer of half the cream cheese and a layer of half the mozzarella. Repeat with a second layer of each ingredient.
  6. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the ziti is bubbly and the top has become golden brown. Allow to sit for about five minutes before serving.

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