A lot of people love pasta and we also share the same love. We have it quite regularly but unlike most people, we don’t fancy marinara sauce as much. We typically like our pasta dish light, lemon-y or garlic-y or pesto with any kind of greens. Having said that, we occasionally do go for one kind of red sauce. The rich Bolognese sauce, with a hint of heat. We either tossed with al dente spaghetti and shaved parmesan on top or bake with ziti pasta and cheese crust on top. Either way it’s tasty!
The first time I made Chicken Bolognese, I was not sure if it would turn out good. Because I had screwed up several such minced chicken dishes in the past. But then the color turned out so dazzling red and it tasted so good! We both licked the plate clean. No Kidding. That was also probably the first time we both loved a red sauce with spaghetti.
Baked Ziti is a classic pasta dish prepared with some kind of red sauce. First of all, it’s delicious and secondly, so easy to put together. Few weekends back, I gave it a go with Chicken Bolognese. It’s like preparing lasagna without the fuss of multiple layering. It’s rustic and messy! It’s cheesy and saucy. It’s one of those dishes that you can easily put together for a large crowd. You can even prepare the sauce a day in advance and just boil the pasta, mix and bake before serving.
If you are a vegetarian, try adding minced mushroom and vegetables like zucchini, spinach, and broccoli. No matter what you add, just keep your pasta al dente and add loads of cheese for that absolutely deliciousness at every spoonful!
Chicken Bolognese Baked Ziti
for Bolognese sauce
- 300 gram minced chicken
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 medium carrots, grated
- 200 gram tomato puree
- 2 cloves garlic, grated
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon chili flakes
- 200 gram heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon sugar
for baked ziti
- 250 gram ziti pasta
- 200 gram cheddar cheese, grated
- water to boil the pasta
- Add 2 tablespoons of oil in a hot pan along with grated garlic and bay leaf. Allow it to infuse the oil for about a minute. Then, drop the chopped onion, add salt, stir and cook for a couple of minutes or until the onions are translucent.
- Scatter minced chicken and add some salt, pepper, oregano and chili flakes. Give it a stir and cook the chicken for a couple of minutes.
- Add the grated carrot and sugar. Give it a stir and cook for a couple more minutes.
- Pour the tomato puree, ½ cup water, sprinkle some salt and give it a mix. Allow it to simmer for about 15 minutes.
- Finally, pour heavy cream and give it a stir. Check for salt and add any, if required. If you want more heat, you could add some more chili flakes. Allow it cook for a couple more minutes and then, switch off the heat.
- In a big saucepan, pour enough water to boil the pasta. Once the water starts to boil, add 1 tablespoon of salt and scatter the pasta. Give it a stir and allow it to cook for 8 minutes.
- In the mean time, pre-heat the oven to 170C and grease your baking pan lightly with oil.
- Once the pasta is cooked to al dente, drain it and add it to the Bolognese sauce.
- Add half of the grated cheese, give it a mix and layer it on the baking pan.
- Scatter rest of the grated cheese on top and bake for about 20 minutes or until the cheese gets bubbly and mildly golden in color.
Copyright: Playful Cooking
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