Off the Music Track – Why Baked Ziti Should Be Banned
To finish The Guitar Train’s Off the Music Track month, Quirky T is pleading for a ban on the ubiquitous “Italian” dish baked ziti. I love Italian American food but this casserole is always a letdown for me. I’ve never had good baked ziti. So now I don’t even try it when I encounter it at potluck dinners, parties, and all the other events where it always appears. I gave up all hope that it will ever taste good.
I guess baked ziti is so popular to make because it’s easy to prepare. The recipe seems to be
Ziti – 2 lbs. cooked
Bland, non-homemade tomato sauce – one half jar
Mozzarella or parmesan cheese – smallest amount possible
Combine all the ingredients in a casserole dish. Bake in the oven until the ziti is so dried out that it hardens, cracks, and changes color.
The result is a dehydrated dish that screams out for more tomato sauce and cheese. The ratio of sauce to cheese should be more along the lines of lasagna which is a cheesy, gooey masterpiece of taste when made correctly. Also, adding some meat like sausage or chopped meatballs to the baked ziti might help.
So I’m begging you baked ziti pushers, think twice before you bring a huge tray of this underwhelming dish to your next large party, potluck dinner, church social, funeral meal, or to the food pantry. Parties should have good food. People at funerals are suffering enough already. Even poor people can afford a box of pasta and a jar of tomato sauce. Give them something tasty and costly for a pleasant change.
Baked ziti pushers, just repeat this mantra – if you can’t make it well, don’t make it at all.
Guitar Train passengers, is there a food item which makes you groan with displeasure when you see it at an event? Do you wish it could be banned? Tell Quirky T what it is and why it bothers you so much.