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  • Weekend Recipe: Cheesy Baked Ziti with Roast Chicken Tomato Sauce

    Whether served at home or brought to a potluck, this will definitely earn you praises
    by Rachelle Santos for .
Weekend Recipe: Cheesy Baked Ziti with Roast Chicken Tomato Sauce
  • This long weekend is a good time to practice cooking food you'd like to serve this festive season. This recipe is perfect to serve when hosting a family gatherings at home. You can also bring this pasta dish one to bring to a potluck party with friends.

    Either way--whether served at home or brought to a potluck--this filling and savory treat will no doubt garner you praises. Make it stress-free by cooking the tomato and cheese sauce ahead of time, then assemble and bake when ready to serve.

    Serves 8 to 10 
    Prep Time 30 minutes 
    Cooking Time 1 hour

    Here's what you'll need:

    For the tomato sauce
    200 grams bacon, diced
    1 tablespoon cooking oil 
    2 tablespoons butter 
    1 head garlic, minced 
    1/2 small onion, chopped 
    1 teaspoon rock salt 
    800 grams roast chicken, shredded  
    2 (250-gram) cans diced tomatoes, drained 
    1 1/2 cups water 
    1/2 cup tomato paste 
    6 to 8 sprigs fresh oregano, chopped
    1 teaspoon ground black pepper 
    10 fresh basil leaves, torn 

    For the cheese sauce
    1/2 cup butter 
    1 (250-ml) pack all-purpose cream 
    1 cup evaporated milk 
    1 cup grated melting cheese (we used Quickmelt)
    salt to taste 
    500 grams penne, cooked according to package directions 
    1 cup ricotta cheese, crumbled
    1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese 
    1/2 cup grated melting cheese  (we used Quickmelt) 


    Make it!

    1 Make the tomato sauce: Lightly fry bacon in oil until slightly cooked. Add butter, garlic, onion, salt, and shredded chicken. Sauté for 5 minutes. 

    Add diced tomatoes, water, tomato paste, oregano, and black pepper. Blend well and simmer, partially covered, for 10 to 15 minutes. 

    Add basil leaves and continue to simmer over low heat for another 10 minutes. Set aside.

    4 Make the cheese sauce: Melt butter over low heat. Add cream, milk, and cheese. Add salt to taste. Continue to simmer until cheese melts and the mixture is well blended. 

    5 To assemble, layer cooked penne, tomato sauce, ricotta cheese, and cheese sauce in a rectangular baking dish. Repeat until dish is full. Sprinkle top layer with Parmesan and melting cheeses. Bake in a preheated oven set at 375°F for 5 to 8 minutes or until cheese has melted.


    Photography by Kai Huang. Food Preparation by Rachelle Santos. Prop Styling by Cleone Baradas


    This story originally appeared on Find more holidays recipes here.


    *Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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