Thursday, March 10, 2011

Baked Ziti, an old favorite

I love to make, & eat, baked ziti. It's so easy especially when you have a stockpile of homemade sauce. Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent means a meatless day for my family & ziti is extremely filling. Serve it with crusty Italian bread or garlic bread (we actually LOVE Texas Toast ;) ).

Cheesy, bubbly goodness!
Baked Ziti
  • 1 lb. (16 oz.) ziti or ziti rigati
  • 3+ cups Marinara Sauce
  • 15 oz. Ricotta Cheese
  • 2 cups shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh Basil, chiffonade
  • S & P
  • 2 TBSp grated Parmesan Cheese

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 13x9" baking pan.

Cook pasta very al dente ("to the tooth", firm but not hard. it still has more time to cook in the oven!). Drain. In a large bowl, mix in a tiny bit of the sauce & set aside.

In a separate bowl, stir together remaining sauce, ricotta cheese, 1 cup of the shredded mozzarella, basil (save some herb strips as toppers), S & P. Fold the sauce mixture completely into the pasta.

Poor into the greased baking pan. Top with remaining cup of shredded mozzarella, parmesan cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly & browned. 

Serve topped with some fresh basil.

*Lishie tip- Don't overcook the pasta when prepping/boiling it. It's the difference between a good ziti & a mushy ziti!

*Lishie facts- Chiffonade means to cut into long, thin, ribbony strips. Stack the basil leaves on top of each other to form one, uniform pile. "Roll" the stack of leaves, then slice the rolled leaves into strips.


  1. If I was to make this ahead and freeze it, would it better to stop right before the baking and then bake it off when I wanted to cook it. Or should I cook it and defrost and reheat? Reheat in microwave or oven?

    This is where I fall apart, I never know how to handle situations like this.

  2. You know- I am AWFUL about freezing things. I would think it would be best to prep it & freeze right before the baking part.