Baked Ziti

1 Oct

It’s official.

Fall has fallen.

It’s raining.

There are pumpkin spice lattes in the University Center.

I’m sick.

Three indicators that autumn is upon us in the Pacific Northwest.

I get excited about these things.

They mean that I can start baking casseroles and making soups.

They mean that for the next few months I can put pumpkin in just about everything.

They mean cozy sweat pants, scarves, and boots.

They mean lattes instead of frappucinnos.

They mean spiced apple cider and cinnamon rolls and cinnamon-scented Febreze.

Oh, yeah.  That’s a thing.  And it’s sitting on my counter.

Unfortunately today I don’t have an incredibly autumnal recipe.  But it’s one of those one-dish, throw it in the oven kind of meals that I love eating in the fall.

It’s baked curly pasta. And spinach.  And tomato sauce.  And cheese.

No seriously, that’s it.

Easiest casserole you will ever make in your life.

BAKED ZITI

  • 1 1-lb. box of your favorite pasta
  • 1 24(ish)-oz. jar of your favorite pasta sauce
  • 1 bag of Daiya mozzarella-style cheese
  • 1 bag of pre-washed, stemmed, hassle-free spinach
Preheat your oven to 350°F.  Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish.  Cook the pasta for about 5 or 6 minutes, until al dente.  Drain the pasta and throw about half of it in the bottom of your baking dish.  Then layer up half of the spinach, half of the cheese, and half of the jar of sauce.  Then stack up the rest of the pasta, spinach, cheese, and sauce on top.   Throw in the oven for about 20 – 30 minutes.  Everything is cooked, so you’re just looking to heat it through and get a good melt going on that cheese.
One little side note:  mine looked really dry; I was considering running out to the store to grab another jar of sauce, but don’t!  It tastes great, and with the cheese and spinach, there’s just the right amount of moisture.
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