Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Baked Ziti

Bob attended Columbia University in 1963-1965. I think it is fair to say that during that time, he was not flush with money. He has often reminisced about a place that he and his buddies used to go to eat the "best" baked ziti for $2.50! It was absolutely delicious and the price was right. The restaurant was V&T Pizzeria Restaurant on Amsterdam Avenue, between 110th and 111th Street in New York City. I looked it up and they are still there! (http://www.vtpizzeriarestaurant.com/#/home) The Baked Ziti is still on the menu, however the price has gone up to $8.00 - which isn't too bad for 47 years!

So in view of Bob's love memories of V&T's Baked Ziti, I set out to see if I could find something approaching it. This, my friends, was no easy task. Bob's memory is very discerning!

The other day I was reading my blog roll and I saw a recipe that Mocha Me had posted. Well I figured I may have hit pay dirt because I quote: "I think this should be renamed "The Best Baked Ziti I Ever Had."  Okay, I'll make it and we'll see how it stacks up to the V&T's memory.

The verdict? Pretty darn good. Woohoo! Thank you Debbie! (and Allrecipes.com for the original recipe)

Baked Ziti

1 pound dry ziti pasta
1 onion, finely chopped
1 pound lean ground beef
2 ( 26 ounce) jars spaghetti sauce
6 ounces provolone cheese, sliced
1 1/2 cups sour cream
6 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons grated (I use freshly shredded) Parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add ziti pasta and cook according to package directions; drain.
In a large skillet, brown onion and ground beef over medium heat. Drain excess fat. Add spaghetti sauce and simmer about 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter (I used olive oil cooking spray) a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. I also add a little of the sauce mixture to the bottom of the dish to prevent sticking. Layer as follows: 1/2 of the ziti, Provolone cheese, sour cream, 1/2 of sauce mixture, remaining ziti, mozzarella cheese and remaining sauce mixture. Top with Parmesan cheese.
Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes in preheated oven on top of baking sheet. Remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes.
This tastes much better the second day so if you decide to heat this up the next day after it's been in the fridge than bake approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour covered and 10 minutes more uncovered.

1 comment: