The Edible Bracket 2011

Last year's winners of the MNCAAPG Best Bracket contest are back. This March Madness season, we will be documenting foods associated with the competing schools. Consider it March Madness, Top Chef Edition.

St. Peter’s College (Jersey City, NJ): Baked Ziti

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For us, St. Peter is associated less with Jersey City (home of St. Peter’s College), and more with the City of Rome, where a basilica stands in his honor.  We’re not sure what the Romans ate when Jesus and Peter were hanging out, but we like to think it was classic Italian dishes like baked ziti.

Baked Ziti

1 pound ziti

1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes

4 cloves of garlic, minced

2 tbsps. olive oil

1 ball of fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan.  Boil a pot of water, and cook ziti according to package instructions.

2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet, and cook garlic over low heat for a few minutes until fragrant.

3. Add tomatoes and cook until pasta is done.

4. Mix tomato sauce and pasta in a large bowl.  Place half the pasta/sauce mixture in pre-greased pan.

5. Place half the mozzarella on top of pasta, and sprinkle half the parmesan cheese over that.

6. Repeat with another layer of pasta, mozzarella and parmesan.

7. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until mozzarella is golden brown around the edges.