Here is an odd way to start a post about pasta and cheese:
I’ve decided to try limiting my gluten and dairy!
(EXCELLENT start to the experiment, I know. But I figured what the hell, let’s go out with a bang.)
In said gluten-and-dairy-limiting experiment, one of the things I am afeared I will miss the most is baked ziti. It’s just one of my favorite things: I used to order it at this tiny restaurant in Little Italy when I was a kid, and over the years have come up with my own recipe that’s pretty much an exact duplicate for that dish (the key, if you’re wondering, is the cheese/pasta/sauce ratio. I am very particular about it).
But my Instant Pot has spoiled me: If a recipe takes more than 30 minutes from start to finish, I get annoyed. So even though I was seriously skeptical about the concept of making pasta in a pressure-cooker, I gave it a shot.
And? While I still prefer my laborious version a bit better, this recipe comes pretty damn close – and in about a quarter of the time.
Easiest-Ever Instant Pot Baked Ziti
What You Need:
- 1 box pasta of your choice
- 1 24-oz jar marinara sauce of your choice
- 8 oz ricotta cheese
- 8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
- Salt, pepper, olive oil
What You Do:
- Pour the marinara sauce into the pot and add 1/2 cup water; stir to combine. Pour the pasta on top – do not mix.
- Pour an additional 1 1/2 cups of water over the pasta (again, do not mix).
- Cook for 8 minutes on high pressure. When time is up, immediately quick-release the pressure.
- Stir in the ricotta. Sprinkle the mozzarella over the top, recover (leave the pressure-cook function off), and let sit for 3 minutes to melt the mozzarella. Season to taste and serve immediately; no one likes a cold baked ziti, trust.