One of my new year’s resolutions was to cut back on pasta. What a silly resolution this was.  Well, this one and a few others I am absolutely sure I am going to break over the coming weeks, perhaps even days.  I have absolutely no willpower, especially for silly resolutions like eat less pasta and drink less wine.  Who on earth am I kidding?

As any Bostonite knows it was brutally cold last week; a couple of days of single and teen digits meant getting out your big padded coat, gloves and hat.  It also meant that immediately upon getting home after work I wanted comfort food, my sofa and a big blanket. 

I didn’t have much fresh food in my house as I had just got back from almost two weeks out of town; however I always have pasta and cheese. 

I literally turned one page in the William-Sonoma Pasta cookbook, which was just lying on my kitchen counter (a Christmas present) and landed on Baked Ziti.  What a brilliant idea I thought but no Ziti, no worries Penne will do as well as dried herbs instead of fresh.  I could make this work.

Baked Penne, Tomato, Ricotta and Mozzarella

Adapted from the Baked Ziti recipe in the William-Sonoma Cookbook


1 cup ricotta cheese
1 egg yolk
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon of ground dried nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon of parsley dried flakes

Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 lb Penne
1 8oz Jar of Tomato Sauce – I used Classico Tomato & Basil

1/4 lb shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 lb of shreded cheddar cheese


Preheat oven to 425. Lightly coat a 9 by 13 baking dish with olive oil.

Cook pasta per instruction to al dente.

Warm the sauce, mozzarella and cheddar – do not boil.

Combine the ricotta, egg, ½ cup of parmesan, nutmeg, and parsley in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Put pasta in mixing bowl with the ricotta and toss well. Add the sauce and mozzarella mixture and toss again.

Transfer the mixture to the baking dish and level out the top. Sprinkle the remaining parmesan over the top and drizzle with olive oil.

Bake, uncovered, until bubbling and lightly browned, about 20 minutes.


This dish is hearty, comforting, warming and cheesy good as well as bad for making me break one of my resolutions. I added a little more tomato sauce to it on day 2.