Susan's StoryThis is so easy, and quick to put together. But be sure to allow an hour total for it to be ready to serve. You can also bake garlic bread in the oven with it, and prepare a green salad, and your meal is done! Be sure to have some Italian Gelato on hand for dessert.
For a gluten-free version, use gluten free pasta, and meatballs made with GF breadcrumbs or oats.
uncooked ziti pasta
any type of pasta works- you may use gluten-free brands!
6-ounce cans v-8 juice
ricotta cheese (optional)
frozen or homemade meatballs
mixed italian herbs (optional)
favorite spaghetti sauce
shredded mozzarella cheese
grated parmesan cheese
1Preheat oven to 375°. Place the uncooked pasta in the bottom of a 2½ or 3 quart casserole. Pour V-8 juice over top of the pasta, making sure it covers most of the pasta. (Spoon the ricotta cheese, if using, evenly over the pasta.)
2Arrange the meatballs over the pasta, and sprinkle with Italian herbs if desired. I use a blend by Pampered Chef, but any mixture of oregano, thyme, basil, and parsley will work. Pour the spaghetti sauce evenly over the meatballs and cover the casserole dish tightly with foil.
3Bake about 40-45 minutes, until the pasta is tender. Uncover casserole and top with mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. Return to oven uncovered for another 15-20 minutes until cheeses are melted and very lightly browned.
Karen Workman adds this Crockpot variation:
I prepared this in the Crockpot...left in on high for about 2 hours, then put it under the broiler for about 10 minutes to brown the cheese. It worked perfectly and was very yummy!