In Praise Of The Elusive Baked Ziti Pizza

I remember very clearly staring through the glass case at the pizza place when I was, oh, six, and glancing past my usual mushroom slice to one loaded with pasta. My nanny insisted I wouldn't be able to finish it. I insisted I would, and boy did I prove that sweet old Indian lady right. From that day forward, the textural perfection that is crispy, chewy, ricotta-loaded and mozzarella-stretchy New York-style baked ziti pizza was my favorite kind. Until it started disappearing from pizza counters like so much other carb-on-carb violence.

Yes, that was the original cheesy, carbo-loading food portmantau. Back when the concept was a wee young thing, cheese and sauce-loaded carbs plus cheese and sauce-loaded carbs made total sense. Now of course we've branched off with creations sporting no shortage of artistic license, like the "two pastries for the price of...well, three," and of course the "sandwich between two pieces of fried chicken." There's also this. So ziti pizza is a relative non-spectacle.

Now I know what you're thinking: I can't eat that, I'm (insert whatever the hell combination of lactard-Paleo-wuss you're citing here). But here's the thing: if you've never had a slice, yes of course you can. It's a new food. You have to try it to see if you like it. And if you like that loophole, I've got a tax secret that'll blow your mind. Hint: become a food writer.

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