Feeding a crowd? This baked ziti recipe is the best strategy to do it! Saucy, tacky, comforting, and flavorful, this fuss-free pasta is at all times successful.
Have you ever tried this baked ziti recipe?! It’s a fan favourite on the weblog, and it’s considered one of our household favorites as nicely. When you have but to make it, I hope you’ll this season. This straightforward baked ziti is an ideal no-fuss recipe for feeding a crowd, and the combo of marinara sauce, pasta, and three (sure, three!) varieties of cheese is so comforting right now of yr.
This baked ziti recipe is my veggie spin on the model I grew up consuming. Reliably current at each potluck or celebration I attended, it was my favourite consolation meals. I liked the jumbles of noodles blended with tangy tomato sauce, gooey cheese, and Italian sausage or floor beef. Lately, I skip the meat in favor of creamy ricotta and plenty of recent spinach, however this baked ziti recipe continues to be hearty, satisfying, and filled with taste. I find it irresistible, and I believe you’ll too.
Baked Ziti Recipe Substances
Right here’s what you’ll have to make this baked ziti recipe:
- Ziti, after all! One other tube-shaped pasta, akin to penne or rigatoni, would work properly too.
- Marinara sauce – If I’ve the time, I like to make use of my selfmade marinara sauce right here, which comes along with a fast 20-minute simmer on the range. However store-bought sauce is honest recreation too! I like to recommend Rao’s.
- Ricotta cheese – It creates a creamy layer within the heart of the baked ziti. For one of the best texture, be sure that to make use of entire milk ricotta on this recipe.
- Garlic, lemon zest, oregano, and pink pepper flakes – I take advantage of these elements to season the ricotta. The garlic, oregano, and pepper flakes add traditional Italian taste, and the lemon zest brings a scrumptious, sudden brightness.
- Contemporary spinach – It wouldn’t be a Love & Lemons recipe if it wasn’t loaded with recent veggies! I sauté a complete pound of spinach in olive oil earlier than stirring it into the pasta.
- Smoked mozzarella and pecorino cheeses – For topping. The smoked mozzarella offers the pasta a kick of wealthy, smoky taste, which I really like, however should you can’t discover it, no worries! Sub in common mozzarella. And in a pinch, salty, nutty Parmesan cheese is a good sub for the pecorino.
- Torn recent basil and chopped parsley – I sprinkle them over the ultimate dish for a recent, vibrant of entirety.
- And salt and pepper – To make all of the flavors pop!
Discover the whole recipe with measurements under.
Make Baked Ziti
This baked ziti recipe is simple to make! Right here’s the way it goes:
First, cook dinner the pasta. Deliver a big pot of salted water to a boil, and cook dinner the pasta till al dente. Watch out to not overcook it! It should soften extra whereas it bakes.
Whereas the pasta cooks, make the ricotta cheese combination. Stir collectively the ricotta, garlic, lemon zest, oregano, and pink pepper flakes, and season with salt and pepper.
Subsequent, sauté the spinach. Drain the pasta, and warmth a glug of olive oil in the identical pot. Sauté the spinach till it’s simply wilted. Tip: Work in batches right here! I do 1/2 pound at a time in order that the spinach cooks evenly. I like all of it to be tender and vibrant inexperienced, not slimy or soggy. After I work in batches, I’m capable of hit that candy spot each time.
Gently squeeze a few of the extra moisture out of the sautéed spinach and roughly chop it.
Then, combine all the pieces collectively. Return many of the spinach and all the pasta to the pot, together with all however 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce. Stir till all the pieces is nicely mixed.
Lastly, layer it up. Unfold the remaining sauce on the underside of a giant casserole dish, and unfold half of the pasta combination over it. Dollop within the ricotta and the reserved spinach, and scoop the remainder of the pasta on high. High with the grated smoked mozzarella and pecorino cheeses, and drizzle with olive oil. Bake till the cheese is golden brown and effervescent. Take pleasure in!
Need to get forward?
This baked ziti freezes nicely. Assemble it as much as the purpose of baking, cowl it tightly with foil, and freeze for as much as 3 months. To reheat, bake, lined, at 350°F for an hour, or till heated by. Uncover and bake till the cheese on high is browned and effervescent.
As a substitute of freezing the pasta, you can even assemble it a couple of hours, and as much as day, prematurely, cowl it, and retailer it within the fridge. Permit it to take a seat at room temperature for half-hour earlier than baking in response to the directions within the recipe under.
What to Serve with Baked Ziti
This baked ziti recipe is a scrumptious chilly climate principal dish. Pair it with garlic bread, garlic knots, or selfmade focaccia for sopping up any stray marinara sauce. Spherical out the meal with a giant salad. Any of those can be improbable:
The baked ziti is finest on the day it’s made, however leftovers maintain nicely for as much as 4 days within the fridge. Reheat particular person parts within the microwave, or heat bigger portions in a lined pan in a 325°F oven.
Extra Favourite Consolation Meals Recipes
Should you love this straightforward baked ziti recipe, strive considered one of these comforting dishes subsequent:
Need easier dinner concepts? Take a look at this publish!
Simple Baked Ziti
Serves 6 to eight
This baked ziti recipe is simple to make and ideal for serving a crowd. Crammed with tangy tomato sauce, al dente pasta, and three varieties of cheese, it is comforting and scrumptious.
- 4 cups (32 ounces) marinara sauce
- 2 cups (16 ounces) ricotta cheese
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- ¼ teaspoon pink pepper flakes
- ¾ teaspoon sea salt, extra for the pasta water
- Freshly floor black pepper
- 1 pound ziti pasta
- Additional-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- 1 pound recent spinach
- 1½ cups smoked mozzarella cheese
- ¼ cup grated pecorino or Parmesan cheese
- Chopped recent parsley and/or torn basil leaves, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Unfold ½ cup marinara within the backside of a 9×13-inch baking dish.
In a medium bowl, mix the ricotta cheese, garlic, lemon zest, oregano, pink pepper flakes, ½ teaspoon salt, and a number of other grinds of recent pepper.
In a big pot of salted boiling water, cook dinner the pasta in response to bundle instructions till al dente. Drain.
Return the pot again to the range. Over low warmth, drizzle the underside of the pot with just a little olive oil and add the spinach. Toss and sauté 1 to 2 minutes till simply wilted, working in batches if obligatory. Flip off the warmth, take away the spinach from the pot, and gently squeeze out a few of the extra water. Coarsely chop it and put aside.
Add the pasta again to the pot together with the remaining marinara, many of the chopped spinach, ¼ teaspoon sea salt, and extra recent pepper and toss till mixed.
Add half the pasta to the baking dish, high with dollops of the ricotta, the remaining spinach, and scoop the remaining pasta on high. High with the mozzarella and pecorino cheese. Drizzle with olive oil and bake till the cheese is browned, 16 to 22 minutes.
Garnish with recent basil or parsley and serve sizzling.