Baked Ziti

Total Time:
50 min
10 min
40 min

about 6 to 8 main course servings

  • 1 pound dried ziti pasta
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 1/2 cups Quick Tomato Sauce, recipe follows
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella, half cut into 1/2-inch cubes and half thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch red pepper flakes

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt generously, and boil the pasta until al dente, tender but still slightly firm. Drain.

Toss the cooked pasta with the marinara sauce, cubed mozzarella, half the Parmesan cheese, black pepper, and pepper flakes. Transfer the pasta to an oiled 9 by 13-inch baking dish. Cover the top of the pasta with the sliced mozzarella, and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan. Bake until lightly browned and hot, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately.

Quick Tomato Sauce:

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound sweet and or spicy Italian sausages, casing removed and crumbled

1/4 medium onion, diced (about 3 tablespoons)

3 cloves garlic, chopped

3 1/2 cups whole, peeled, canned tomatoes in puree, (one 28-ounce can), roughly chopped

Sprig fresh thyme

Sprig fresh basil

2 teaspoons kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook the sausage until beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Add the onion and garlic, stirring, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes more. Add the tomatoes and the herb sprigs and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.

Remove and discard the herb sprigs. Stir in the salt and season with pepper, to taste. Use now or store covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 2 months.

Copyright 2004 Television Food Network, G.P. All rights reserved

Yield: about 5 cups

Prep Time: 8 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

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Pairs Well With

Bright, fruity Italian red wine

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4.6 198
Good one we enjoyed item not reviewed by moderator and published
Good Recipe item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is a great weeknight recipe, even with making the sauce, it doesn't take that long. And if the sauce is made in advance, it's really quick. Everyone loved the dish. I will definitely make it again. I used tomato paste because I'm not a fan of the texture of chunky tomato in my pasta dishes, and it came out perfect. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I just used tomato sauce from a jar and added quartered pepperoni slices. It makes a great base for experimenting...I have used sliced olives, mushrooms from a jar...quick and easy. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I was told; "this is the best baked ziti I've ever had" by three different people. between the two layers, I added ricotta with an egg, parsley and parmesan. It was DE-licious!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
yMade this for company and it was devoured. Even my pick father-in-law had seconds. I did make some changes, per other reviewers. I used crushed tomatoes instead of whole tomatoes and added an extra can of diced tomatoes (the hubby likes extra sauce). I also add 1 lb. of Italian chicken sausage to give it a bit of a kick and to make it heartier. Definitely making again item not reviewed by moderator and published
It was a super hit when experimented on my friends...loved it item not reviewed by moderator and published
Third try I got it right. My previous review gave this recipe four stars, but some small changes make it a five star dish. Use crushed instead of whole tomatoes and you'll get a smoother and stronger tomato flavor throughout instead of just in chunks. I also added a second 14oz can of diced tomatoes. I used freshly grated Parmiggiano Reggiano and the price is worth it. Amazing cheesy and marinara flavor. I also used Barilla Plus penne to keep the dish a little healthier. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Why do we have 3 different cooking times? Tastes great. item not reviewed by moderator and published
this is good posting again item not reviewed by moderator and published

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