1 28 ounce can whole San Marzano tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 stick butter
½ cup flour
3 cups whole milk
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 pound box ziti
16 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese
½ cup seasoned bread crumbs
4 ounces grated mozzarella cheese
8 ounces mozzarella cubed
¼ cup fresh basil
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Butter a 13X9 inch baking dish.
Bring 6 quarts of salted water to a rapid boil.
In a 5 quart Dutch oven, heat olive oil on medium low heat, add garlic, and cook for 3 minutes.
Add tomatoes and crush them with your hands or a potato masher. Add red pepper flakes, salt and pepper and stir. Simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off heat.
Cook according to box instructions. Drain.
In a 2 quart sauce pan melt the butter over medium low heat. Add flour and whisk until smooth. Gradually add milk whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Whisk until sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup grated parmesan.
In a small bowl combine ½ cup parmesan and breadcrumbs.
Remove ½ cup of tomato sauce and set aside.
Add béchamel sauce to tomato sauce and stir. Add ricotta cheese to the pot with the two sauces and combine. Add basil and cooked ziti and stir.
Place half the ziti with sauce on the bottom of the 13X9 inch baking dish. Sprinkle with half of the mozzarella cubes. Pour the remainder of the ziti and sauce mixture on top. Pour the ½ cup reserved tomato sauce on top, sprinkle with grated mozzarella cheese, sprinkle breadcrumb mixture next and then scatter remaining mozzarella cubes on top.
Cover dish lightly with a piece of tin foil and bake in oven for 15 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 15 minutes or until the mozzarella has melted and the sauce is bubbling.
Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes and enjoy.
Serve with a green salad