My Grandma W wasn’t known for her cooking but I’ve thought of her often lately. She would have loved Mr. J and she would be really proud that we got the house. She was a tough cookie but her grandchildren could do no wrong.
She made fantastic fudge, chex-mix, and baked ziti. Mine didn’t quite rival hers, but it was good. The perfect sauce with lots of cheese was an ideal dinner. I concentrated on making sure there was a ton of cheese and that the noodles were cooked perfectly.
1 pound ziti, rigatoni, or penne
2 cups tomato sauce
12 oz ricotta
1 cup spinach
12 oz shredded mozzarella
Boil pasta until al dente (it will keep cooking when baked)
Blend (or chop) spinach into ricotta
Mix ricotta with pasta, half the sauce, and half the mozzarella.
Spread into a greased pan and top with remaining sauce.
Bake 30 minutes covered. Then top with remaining cheese and bake until melted.
Let sit 5 minutes before serving.
If I were making this Grandma W style, I would have added meatballs, chicken thighs, sausage, pepperoni, peppers, and onions. Mine was simplier but I liked it a lot. I have a strong love for ricotta.
It reminded me of a baked pasta Ms. L made for me. I liked the crispy ones at the edges. I think this dish is super easy, can be made ahead of time, and is definitely a cheap dinner.
Shredded mozzarella: $2.99
Total: $10.09 and serves 6 or just $1.68 per person