In My Kitchen: Three Cheese Baked Ziti

I’m a sucker for pasta, ricotta, mozzarella and a good sugo. That’s why I love baked ziti! It’s got all of those things, and in decadent quantities, I might add. This is a very basic cheese ziti recipe, so feel free to make your own sauce / sugo, add meat or tofu, etc.!

Active time: 30 min // Total time: 1 hour 45 min

You’ll need:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 14.5 oz cans tomato sauce or marinara sauce
  • 1 28 oz can whole tomatoes with juice
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • 1 pound ziti
  • 1 1/2 pounds mozzarella, grated or shredded
  • 1 15 oz tub whole milk ricotta
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 eggs

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. In a large pot over medium heat, heat the olive oil then add garlic and onions. Saute until softened, about 5 minutes.

3. Add the tomato sauce, tomatoes, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes and some salt and pepper to taste. Stir, bring to a simmer and simmer for 25-30 minutes. Remove 4 cups of the cooked sauce to a bowl to cool down.

4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil and cook ziti until al dente. Drain and set aside.

5. In a bowl, mix 2 cups of the grated mozzarella, ricotta, Parmesan, eggs and salt and pepper. Stir together just a couple of times (do not fully mix).

6. Add cooked, drained pasta to bowl with cheese pasta and toss to slightly combine. Add the cooled reserved sauce and toss to combine.

7. Add half the coated pasta to a large casserole dish or lasagna dish. Spoon half of the remaining sauce over the top, then top with half the remaining mozzarella. Repeat with another layer of cooked pasta, reserved sauce and remaining mozzarella.

8. Bake until bubbling, about 20-30 minutes. Let stand before serving. Top with parsley (optional).

Source: Adapted from a recipe by The Pioneer Woman

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