Baked Ziti

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There’s this little neighborhood pizzeria about two miles from our house that has the best baked ziti recipe I’ve ever eaten. I don’t claim to be a baked ziti expert, but I know a good Italian recipe when I taste one.

What I love most about their baked ziti is that it’s simple. Just the right amount of fresh basil and fresh mozzarella, a sauce + ricotta ratio near to perfection, and barely a touch of their light marinara on top.

Did I mention ooey, gooey fresh mozzarella?

Over the weekend I decided to roll up my sleeves and take a stab at making baked ziti at home. I mean, it’s not difficult, and the ingredients are really no secret. And I, too, kept it simple – although I was lacking some of the fresh ingredients I would have preferred. Still, we were all pleased.

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By the way, my easy homemade Italian bread (made the same afternoon) went perfectly!

You’re welcome.

Baked Ziti
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 23.5oz jar organic marinara sauce
  • 3-1/2 cups dry ziti or penne pasta
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt + 2 tablespoons for the pasta water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Bring water and 2 tablespoons of salt to boil in a large pot. Add the pasta and cook it to al dente. Drain.
  3. Mix the marinara, ricotta, ¾ cup mozzarella, ¼ cup Parmesan, ½ teaspoon salt, and the basil together in a large bowl. Add the pasta, stirring gently to coat completely.
  4. Coat the bottom of a 9x13" baking dish with olive oil. Spread the pasta mixture evenly in the dish. Sprinkle the top with the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the baked ziti is bubbly and golden brown on top.
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Comments

  1. clone5Susan Myer says

    I went and bought the ingredients today after seeing this on Pinterest. Can’t wait to make it for dinner tonight!

    • (a)Musing Foodie says

      Jana – I’m so happy to hear that! I’m making it again soon to. :-) The leftovers (if you have any) reheat very well.

    • (a)Musing Foodie says

      Hi Susan! The ingredients list “1 jar” of marinara. Specifically, I use the 23.5oz jar, which is pretty standard. Hope that helps!

      • Susan says

        Thanks! I generally put together my own sauce, so I’m ignorant about how jar sauce comes. Tried this yesterday and the family loved it!

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