Warm, Cheesy, and Delicious: Irresistible Baked Ziti Recipe

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A Taste of Italy: Our Authentic Baked Ziti Recipe is a Crowd-Pleaser

Baked ziti is a classic Italian-American comfort food that has been enjoyed by families for generations.

This hearty pasta dish features ziti noodles smothered in tomato sauce, creamy ricotta cheese, and gooey mozzarella cheese, then baked to perfection in the oven.

It's a crowd-pleaser that is perfect for serving at large family dinners or potluck gatherings.

The origins of baked ziti are not entirely clear, but it is believed to have originated in Southern Italy. Ziti is a type of pasta that is tube-shaped and slightly larger than penne.

It is traditionally served with tomato sauce and ricotta cheese, but other variations may include meatballs, sausage, or vegetables.

One of the great things about baked ziti is its versatility. It can be customized to suit individual tastes and preferences, with options for different types of pasta, sauces, and cheeses.

Baked ziti can also be made in advance and frozen for later use, making it a great option for meal prepping or busy weeknights.

In this article, we will explore different variations of baked ziti recipes, including classic baked ziti, vegetarian baked ziti, and baked ziti with meat sauce.

We'll also provide tips on how to choose the best pasta and cheese for your baked ziti, how to make it ahead of time, and how to store and reheat leftovers.

Whether you're a fan of classic Italian flavors or looking for a modern twist on this beloved comfort food, you're sure to find a recipe that you'll love.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound (450 grams) of ziti pasta
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 pound (450 grams) of ground beef or Italian sausage (optional)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 jar (24 ounces or 680 grams) of marinara sauce
  • 1 cup (250 grams) of ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups (225 grams) of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup (50 grams) of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup (10 grams) of chopped fresh basil (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Cook the ziti pasta according to the package directions until it is al dente (cooked but still firm). Drain and set aside.
  3. If using ground beef or Italian sausage, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meat and cook until browned and cooked through, about 8-10 minutes. Drain any excess fat.
  4. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic to the skillet and cook until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the marinara sauce to the skillet and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to low and let the sauce simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  6. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked ziti pasta, ricotta cheese, and 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Spread a layer of the meat sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Add half of the ziti mixture on top of the sauce, then add another layer of meat sauce on top of the ziti. Add the remaining ziti mixture on top of the sauce, then finish with another layer of meat sauce.
  8. Sprinkle the remaining shredded mozzarella cheese and grated Parmesan cheese on top of the ziti.
  9. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes.
  10. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 25-30 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly and the edges are golden brown.
  11. Let the baked ziti cool for a few minutes before serving. Garnish with chopped fresh basil (optional).
  12. Enjoy your delicious homemade baked ziti!

Enjoy this easy video tutorial about Baked Ziti Recipe

Source: Natashas Kitchen

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