Move over lasagna.... this all-in-one dish comes together in a snap! This delicious vegetarian casserole has baked pasta tossed in a zesty from-scratch tomato sauce, fresh spinach, and mounded with mozzarella and parmesan cheese. It is sure to become a family favorite!
Baked Spinach Ziti
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
6 ounces baby spinach, chopped
1 tablespoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound ziti
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
8 ounces freshly grated mozzarella cheese
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. and get a large pot of water boiling with water to cook the ziti in according to package directions.
2. Meanwhile, cook the olive oil and garlic in a medium sized stock pot for 2 minutes on medium high heat. Watch carefully and stir constantly so the garlic doesn't burn! Add in the dried basil, sugar, and salt. Stir in the crushed tomatoes and the diced tomatoes (including the liquid.) Simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in the chopped spinach.
3. Toss the ziti and sauce together. Pour half of this mixture into a greased 13x9 inch baking dish. Top with half the mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Add the remaining noodle/sauce mixture and top with the remaining cheese.
4. Bake for 20 minutes. Let set 5 minutes before serving.
(This can be made ahead of time and refrigerated until you are ready to bake. Just up the cooking time about 10-15 minutes until the cheese is melted and the center is hot).