Monday, July 18, 2011

Crockpot pesto baked ziti

This is a great ziti recipe and having it made in the crockpot is right up my alley. Now, being a cheese lover, I do miss the browned cheese on top of the ziti that comes from an oven, but the ease of this crockpot method really makes up for it.  Maybe if I used a creme broulet torch?   ...I'll have to think on that.  :)

8 oz pasta noodles
26 oz jar of pasta sauce, homemade or store bought - you choose
12 oz ricotta cheese
*Sometimes* I use 1 brick softened cream cheese instead, depending on my mood, OR
To save a few $ you can use a food processor on cottage cheese to get a similar flavor/texture.
8 oz package of shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 container of pesto
1/4 cup water

Spray crockpot with non-stick spray. 
Put 1/3 of spaghetti sauce in bottom of crockpot, then 1/3 of the dry noodles on top of that. 
Mix ricotta with the pesto in a bowl. 
Dollop 1/3 of the ricotta pesto on top of the noodles. Here and there is fine.
No need to spread it exactly or you'll make yourself crazy.
Sprinkle with 1/3 of shredded cheese.

Repeat layers, ending with a shredded cheese layer on top. 
Put the 1/4 cup of water in your empty pasta jar and shake - Pour the juice over the whole pile of food. Cover and cook for 4 hours on low.

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