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Playing Spring-Summer Ziti


  • 2 tablespoons EVOO, Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 large shallots, thinly sliced
  • 3 large garlic cloves, grated or finely chopped
  • 1 28-ounce can San Marzano plum tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 stems fresh tarragon, leaves removed and chopped
  • 1/2 cup (10 leaves) fresh basil, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound ziti with lines
  • 1 pound thin asparagus, trimmed of woody ends and chopped into 1 1/2 inch pieces on an angle
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano, divided
  • 1/2 pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced


Serves: 6 servings




Preheat oven to 400F.



Place a large pot of water over high heat and bring up to a boil to cook the pasta.



While the water is coming to a boil, place a medium-size, high-sided skillet on the stove with 2 tablespoons EVOO over medium heat. Saute the shallots and garlic 3-4 minutes then stir in tomatoes and crush them with a wooden spoon or potato masher. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to your taste, cook five minutes more then stir in tarragon and basil, and turn off heat.



While sauce is simmering, add salt to boiling water and cook the pasta to just under al dente it should have a nice bite left to it. After the pasta has been cooking for 5 minutes, add in the asparagus and frozen peas a minute or two before draining. Drain pasta and veggies.



Add ricotta, half the Parmigiano cheese to the hot pasta pot. Add the hot pasta back to the pot and stir to coat evenly.



Pour half the sauce into a large baking dish. Add all of the ziti to the dish and top with remaining sauce. Dot the top of the ziti with mozzarella and remaining Parmigiano. Place in oven until top is brown and bubbly, about 12 minutes.