1/3 cup olive oil ( I just do 3 swirls around the pan)
4-6 cloves garlic, smashed
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
2 14 oz cans stewed tomatoes
1/4 cup dried basil
1 tsp dried thyme
1/3 cup dry red wine
1 tsp salt
black pepper to taste
1 lb dried ziti
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
3.5 cups shredded mozzerela cheese, divided
In a heavy pot, saute the garlic in oilve oil over medium heat until cloves turn golden brown. remove the garlic & discard.
Place diced tomatoes & 1 can of stewed tomatoes in a processor or blender. Pulse until corsely chopped. Pour into the pot with the remaining can of tomatoes ( I personally like to give the second can a little chopping too, the stewed tomatoes are too big for my taste, or use a can of smaller already chopped tomatos)
Add basil, thyme, pepper. Bring to a boil. Add the wine & continue cooking for 5 minutes, stirring often . Reduce heat to low & simmer 30 minutes.
Cook the ziti according to directions, but reduce cooking time by 1-2 minutes ( use your own judgement here, no one likes crunchy pasta, but no one likes it mushy either!!)
Drain, but dont rinse.
Return to pot & add a small amount of sauce, toss to keep from sticking.
In a small bowl, combine ricotta cheese, egg, parsley & 1/4 cup parm. cheese with a 1/2 cup of the mozz. cheese. I usually shred my own cheese, it tastes better & doesnt have the chemicals that keeps the shreds from clumping, however.. I had a long day yesterday.. so I used pre shredded.
Coat a large casserole or baking dish with non stick spray ( I use EVOO spray). Place half the pasta in dish. I use a large mug, its roughly equaly to about 2 cups. Or, a regular sized mug, is about 1 cup. Drop cheese mixture by the spoonful over the top of the pasta.
Pour about 2 cups of the sauce over the pasta. Add remaining pasta
pour 2 more cups of sauce over pasta.
Top with the remaining parm & mozz cheese.
Bake 35-40 minutes in a preheated 350 oven.