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Easy Weeknight: Baked Ziti

This classic baked pasta dish doesn't need to be a weekend only treat, nor does it require its namesake noodle. Start with a ready-made sauce, or one you simmered on another day, and dinner can be on the table within half an hour. This week's rigatoni from Trenchers Farmhouse is perfect for grabbing more molten cheese and sauce in every bite.

Set a pan of salted water on to boil for the pasta and preheat your oven to 375.

In a large bowl, thin out 1 tub of ricotta with a tablespoon or two of milk. Generously season with salt and red pepper flakes. Grate a ball of mozzarella and add half to the ricotta, along with 1/4 cup grated gouda or sharp cheddar.

Cover the bottom of your cast iron pan or casserole with a thin layer of whatever tomato sauce you are using..

When the pasta is not quite al dente, drain it and then mix thoroughly with the cheese mixture. 

Transfer the cheese and pasta to your prepared baking dish.

Pour the remaining tomato sauce (should be about 2 cups) on to the pasta and gently spread so that no pasta is exposed.

Sprinkle the rest of the grated mozzarella and some more gouda on top.

Cover and bake for 20-25 minutes, until bubbly and golden and then serve immediately.