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HomeHealthy FoodStraightforward Baked Ziti – A Couple Cooks

Straightforward Baked Ziti – A Couple Cooks

Baked ziti with ricotta is Italian consolation meals at its most interesting! This straightforward recipe is easy to bake up and feeds a crowd.

Baked Ziti

Right here’s a dish that might be a winner any day of the week: Baked Ziti! This Italian American casserole is filled with savory taste and comfy nostalgia. Its floor is full of pockets of seasoned ricotta, lakes of garlicky tomato sauce, and punctuated by strands of gooey mozzarella. Aspect profit: the wafting aroma makes your kitchen odor like a dream! This baked pasta is good for feeding a crowd, or a half recipe works for a comfortable romantic dinner. What are you ready for?

Substances in baked ziti

Baked ziti seems to be an Italian American invention, although the custom of baked pasta dates again to the late Center Ages in Italy. As with all traditional recipe, there are numerous methods to make baked ziti. Most recipes embrace pasta, tomato sauce and a filling of ricotta cheese and Parmesan, topped with mozzarella and baked till bubbly. Many embrace sausage, however ours is a vegetarian spin that’s one step simpler however nonetheless filled with taste. Right here’s what you’ll want for this baked ziti recipe:

  • Ziti pasta (or penne or rigatoni)
  • Garlic
  • Fennel seeds
  • Olive oil
  • Marinara sauce and hearth roasted tomatoes
  • Ricotta, Parmesan and mozzarella cheese
  • Lemon zest
Baked Ziti

Keys to the flavour

This baked ziti recipe is straightforward, with a number of easy methods for giant taste. Right here’s what to notice about this recipe:

  • It makes use of each marinara sauce and canned hearth roasted tomatoes. This manner, you’ll be able to spherical out the flavour of the bought marinara with some selfmade taste of your personal. See under for some notes on hearth roasted tomatoes.
  • Fennel evokes the flavour of sausage. You may skip the sausage right here: utilizing fennel seed provides a meaty, hearty taste to the inside (fennel seed can also be utilized in Italian sausage!).
  • Lemon zest provides brightness. The lemon provides a pleasant raise to the flavors!
Baked Ziti

Discover hearth roasted tomatoes for finest taste

This baked ziti makes use of a mixture of bought marinara sauce and selfmade flavors to make a fast selfmade sauce. The important thing? Canned hearth roasted tomatoes. Right here’s what to find out about this selection:

  • Hearth roasted tomatoes are a sort of canned tomato that’s roasted over a flame earlier than canning. They’re bought by a number of totally different manufacturers; search for them within the canned tomato part in your native grocery. We like Muir Glen.
  • Hearth roasted tomatoes style candy proper out of the can. This implies you’ll be able to cook dinner them for much less time than commonplace tomatoes.
  • What’s an alternative choice to hearth roasted tomatoes? Use the best high quality canned tomatoes you’ll find. Take into account including 1 teaspoon sugar and a touch of smoked paprika (½ teaspoon) when you have it to spherical out the flavors.
Baked Ziti

Prepare dinner the ziti to simply earlier than al dente

The important thing to a baked pasta? Prepare dinner the pasta to simply earlier than al dente. Baked pasta cooks whereas it’s within the oven, so that you’ll need to pull it out of the boiling water simply earlier than you usually would. Attempt about 1 to 2 minutes earlier than it’s al dente: so it ought to nonetheless have some crunch.

As a observe: usually the pasta package deal directions point out to cook dinner just a little too lengthy! So cook dinner it about 3 minutes earlier than the package deal directions point out.

Make a half recipe in a 9 x 9

This baked ziti recipe makes a giant 9 x 13″ pan that feeds at the least 8 servings. Not within the temper for such an enormous portion? Make a half recipe in a 9 x 9! It really works simply as nicely, particularly since this pasta is tastiest the day of constructing. Nevertheless it works as leftovers too!

Leftover storage

Leftover baked ziti lasts for as much as 3 days refrigerated. This baked pasta does style finest the times it’s made, because the noodles can turn into a bit soggy over time. (That’s one more reason to ensure to not overcook the pasta!) Once you’re consuming the leftovers, add a number of pinches of salt and reheat it in a skillet to revive the flavors.

Baked Ziti

What to serve with baked ziti

This baked ziti works as a meal for a crowd, or an intimate romantic dinner (as a half recipe). Listed here are a number of facet dishes that pair nicely:

This baked ziti recipe is…

Vegetarian. For gluten-free, use gluten-free pasta.


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Baked ziti with ricotta is Italian consolation meals at its most interesting! This straightforward recipe is easy to bake up and feeds a crowd. Make a half recipe in a 9 x 9 baking dish in the event you favor!

  • 1 pound ziti pasta (or penne or rigatoni)*
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 24-ounce jar marinara sauce
  • 28-ounce can crushed hearth roasted tomatoes
  • 1 pound ricotta cheese
  • ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 6 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon
  • Kosher salt and contemporary floor black pepper
  • Basil leaves, for garnish (optionally available)

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 levels Fahrenheit.
  2. Carry a big pot of frivolously salted water to a boil. Prepare dinner the pasta 2 minutes lower than al dente (about 3 minutes earlier than the package deal directions point out). Drain the pasta and return it to the pot. If it’s cooked earlier than the sauce is completed, stir in a drizzle of olive oil to forestall sticking.
  3. In the meantime, mince the garlic. In a medium saucepan, warmth the olive oil. Add the garlic and fennel seeds, crushing the fennel together with your fingers as you add it, and sauté for 1 minute. Add the marinara sauce and hearth roasted tomatoes and stir to mix. Simmer for 10 minutes, then style and add a pinch of salt if the flavour doesn’t pop (it will rely upon the marinara model). Then pour the tomato sauce into the drained pasta and stir to mix.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, ½ cup of the grated Parmesan cheese, ¾ cup of the mozzarella cheese, the lemon zest, ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, and some grinds of black pepper.
  5. Grease a 9″ x 13″ baking dish*. Pour within the pasta combined with the tomato sauce. Add massive dollops of the ricotta combination to the highest of the pasta, then use the facet of a big spoon to swirl it into the highest of the pasta, leaving some bigger pockets of ricotta. High with the remaining ¾ cup mozzarella cheese and ¼ cup Parmesan cheese.
  6. Bake for half-hour till the cheese on the highest is melted and browned. Permit to face for 10 minutes previous to serving. If desired, high with basil leaves and serve. Leftovers final for as much as 3 days refrigerated, although they style finest the day of (add a number of pinches of salt and reheat in a skillet to revive the flavors). 


*Need to make a half recipe? Use half the elements and make it in a 9 x 9″ baking dish.

  • Prep Time: quarter-hour
  • Prepare dinner Time: half-hour
  • Class: Principal dish
  • Methodology: Baked
  • Delicacies: Italian American

Key phrases: Baked ziti, baked ziti with ricotta



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