Emergency Ziti

Everybody loves parmesan.

Imagine if you will: through the In a Pinch program from the mothers’ club, you’ve agreed to deliver a meal to a new mom. Now, hypothetically speaking, imagine that you’ve completely forgotten that today is the day that you’ve arranged to deliver the aforementioned meal.

Complicating factors? You’re due to deliver the meal in an hour, and your recipient family is vegetarian, thus ruling out your traditional emergency plan of picking up a rotisserie chicken from the restaurant down the road.

Here’s how to create a quick, easily-transportable, meatless pasta in less than an hour using only ingredients that you have on hand.


  • 1 pound whole wheat penne
  • 1 jar creamy tomato sauce
  • 1 ball of fresh mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese


Bring salted water to a boil in a large pot. Add penne and cook for half the amount of time recommended on the package.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Coat a baking dish with nonstick spray.

While the pasta cooks, grate the parmesan and chop the fresh mozzarella into small pieces.

Drain the cooked pasta. Return to the pot and toss with the sauce and mozzarella. Pour into the greased pan. Top with parmesan cheese.

Bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese looks golden and bubbly.


I delivered it with a bagged salad for a complete meal. The new mom actually emailed to ask for the recipe.

I doubled the recipe and made a second batch for us. Ours was served with a grilled chicken accented with prepackaged pesto, the easiest meal on earth. I like the combination of pesto and marinara, so this blend worked well. The Tiny Kitchen Assistant gives it a thumbs up on all fronts.

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