Quick Baked Ziti

This is a recipe I made up by combining a Real Simple recipe, which wasn’t cheesy enough for what I wanted, and a Williams Sonoma recipe, which was a bit too long and complicated for what I wanted.

  • 1 12-oz package ziti, cooked al dente
  • 1 24-oz can diced tomatoes, with or without Italian seasoning
  • ½ cup dry red wine (I used Cabernet Sauvignon. If you don’t have red wine you can leave it out, but shame on you for eating pasta without red wine!)
  • 1 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp small capers
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 package organic mozzarella cheese, grated
  • ½ cup organic grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

While ziti is cooking according to the package, in a large saucepan sauté onion in butter on medium heat about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute. Add red wine and turn up heat until bubbling, cooking about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and their juices, olives, and capers, and simmer uncovered 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 F, grate cheeses, and set aside 2/3 of the mozzarella. Add red pepper flakes to red sauce, which should be a little runny. Then add pasta and stir thoroughly till coated. Mix in set-aside 2/3 mozzarella and pour into 9 x 9 glass baking dish with lid. Cover with remaining cheese, cover, and bake for 10 minutes. Turn up heat to broil, uncover, and cook 1–2 minutes more, until bubbling. Remove from oven, let cool slightly, and serve with fresh parsley.