Rachael's Creamy Baked Ziti with Chicken and Cherry Peppers

The noodles do not have to be cooked first!!!



  1. 1 pound Ziti rigate
  2. 3/4 cup pickled cherry pepper rings, chopped,
  3. Plus 2 tablespoons brine
  4. 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
  5. 1 1/2 cups half-and-half or cream or whole milk
  6. 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese,
  7. 2 ounces Or about
  8. 1 egg
  9. 1/2 cup parsley tops, finely chopped
  10. (reserve a little for topping cooked ziti)
  11. A few grates of nutmeg
  12. 1 rotisserie chicken, skin and bones removed and meat
  13. pieces chopped or pulled into small
  14. 1 (12 ounce) sack of provolone and mozzarella blend
  15. For the Food Processor Marinara:
  16. 1 (28 ounce) can chopped or whole San Marrzano tomatoes
  17. 1 (14 ounce) can tomato sauce, or 2 cups tomato puree
  18. 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  19. 2 fat cloves garlic, crushed
  20. A few leaves of basil, torn
  21. 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  22. 2 tablespoons hot Italian pickled cherry pepper brine
  23. 1 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, or about half a palmful


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

  2. Place tomatoes in a food processor and add puree, EVOO, garlic, basil, red pepper flakes, cherry pepper brine and oregano, pulse a few times then puree.

  3. In a large bowl, combine ricotta, half-and-half or cream or milk, grated Parm, egg, all but 2 tablespoons of parsley, and nutmeg, stir then fold in chicken, cherry peppers, cherry pepper brine and dry ziti.

  4. Pour half the raw tomato sauce in 9×13 pan and add ziti and top with the remaining sauce, cover pan tightly with foil and bake 45 – 60 minutes, until pasta is just tender, uncover and top in with provolone and mozzarella and bake 15 minutes to brown, then top with more parsley and cool a few minutes to serve.

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