Baked Ziti with Mushrooms, Peppers and Parmesan

Total Time:
1 hr 10 min
30 min
40 min

8 to 10 servings

  • 3 large yellow bell peppers (about 1 1/2 pounds), diced in 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 pounds mushrooms, sliced thinly
  • 2 medium red bell peppers, cut into 1/4-inch strips
  • 2 medium orange bell peppers, cut into 1/4-inch strips
  • 1 pound ziti
  • 8 scallions (green part only), thinly sliced
  • 2 cups freshly grated Parmesan (about 6 ounces)
  • In a 3 to 4-quart heavy saucepan cook yellow peppers, onion, and garlic in 1 tablespoon oil, covered, over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until peppers are soft, about 10 minutes. Stir in cream. In a blender puree mixture in batches (use caution when blending hot liquids), transferring to a large bowl, and season with salt and pepper. (Sauce may be made 2 days ahead and chilled, covered. Bring sauce to room temperature before proceeding.) In a deep large heavy skillet cook mushrooms and peppers in remaining 2 tablespoons oil over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until peppers are softened and most of liquid is evaporated, about 5 minutes, and season with salt and pepper.

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

  • Fill a 6 to 7-quart kettle 3/4 full with salted water and bring to a boil. Stir in ziti and cook until just tender, about 10 minutes. Reserve 1 cup pasta cooking water and drain ziti well in a colander. Rinse ziti and drain well. Into sauce stir ziti, mushroom mixture, scallion greens, 1 1/2 cups Parmesan, reserved cooking water, and salt and pepper to taste. Spoon mixture into a 3-quart shallow baking dish and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan. Bake ziti in middle of oven until hot and pasta begins to brown, about 15 minutes.

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