Slow-Cooker Baked Ziti
Mushy or bloated? Were those the only, er, pastabilities from the slow cooker?
Why This Recipe Works
Getting perfectly cooked pasta and gooey melted cheese from the slow cooker takes some technique. Precooked pasta turned mushy after hours in the slow cooker, but putting the pasta in raw didn’t work much better. Instead, we take a cue from risotto and quickly sauté raw ziti with cooked sausage before putting them both in the slow cooker—coating the starch in fat protects it from swelling and overcooking. Topping the casserole with cheese after cooking and then letting it sit in the turned-off cooker allows the cheese to melt and heat through without separating. A foil collar keeps the pasta “bake” from burning around the edges as it cooks.