The Giro continues on in Italy, as does the tour of Italian food. I know it’s been a couple of days since I’ve posted but I figured that if the GC bigs can take a break so could I. Or, should I say, “ex-bigs”? (Thanks, gavia !) So, with this time to think about it, I’ve decided that I could spend some time making a pitch to bring the Giro to Washington, DC . What’s a 12 hour transfer when you drop 12 minutes on the GC? It’s time to Americanize!
Obviously, America isn’t Italy. But, has that stopped America from creating Italian things? No. So, I let The Sopranos guide me in making this Italian recipe. (Isn’t that a wonderfully American conceit?)
This recipe was originally posted on Veggin’ back in July, 2008 . But I had to revive it – it’s a classic, tastes great, and you get to drop the “F Bomb” when you tell people what you’re making for dinner. Enjoy!
Usually, the f-bomb is uttered when you cut yourself when chopping onions or you drop a glass shattering it all over the floor. In this case, the f-word is used to describe a pasta dish. I named this vegetarian dish after the line little AJ Soprano famously uttered when he found out his grandmother wasn’t coming over to their pot-luck dinner – “So, what? No fuckin’ ziti, now!?!?”
It’s probably the best delivered line of the series, and, as such, it became a household term to describe this ziti dish. But, calling it F’in Ziti has now spread to our circle of friends as I’ve made it a few times on group trips and get-togethers. I’m a fan for things that are easy to make, and, the taste is so good that this shouldn’t disappoint AJ Soprano. It’s easy to cook for a crowd, easy to pack for travel and is great leftover. Make it enough and you may be greeted at your next group event with, “Whaaat, no fuckin’ ziti?!??!”
- 1 24 oz jar of vegetarian pasta sauce (the thicker and more flavorful the sauce the better)
- 1 13.5 oz box of whole wheat penne or rotini (What? No f’in ziti?!? Yes, that’s right, I often use rotini or penne to make this. Ziti also works perfectly fine. )
- Shredded cheeses to sprinkle on top – italian blends, parmesean cheese, etc.
- Spices: dried oregano, italian blends, basil, parsley – the choice is yours
- Optional: mushrooms, peppers, diced tomatoes
Preheat oven to 375. (This is one time that I start the oven before food prep. Food preparation is so fast that I am usually done before oven preheats.)
Pour pasta into 9×11 pyrex baking dish.
Pour entire jar of pasta sauce into dish.
Add any mushrooms, peppers, etc.
Fill the pasta sauce jar with water and pour into dish. Stir to combine sauce evenly through pasta.
Cover dish with foil. Place in oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, lift foil to check on pasta. It should be just about cooked through. Sauce should be bubbly.
Remove foil and sprinkle cheese on top to cover pasta. For a crispier top, add finely grated parmesean cheese to the top of the shredded cheese. Sprinkle herbs over top.
Place back into oven for about 10 minutes until cheese is browned on top.