|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 15g||20%|
|Saturated Fat 8g||38%|
|Total Carbohydrate 25g||9%|
|Dietary Fiber 3g||12%|
|Total Sugars 9g|
|Vitamin C 4mg||18%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Baked ziti is one of those incredibly adaptable recipes you can change to suit your mood, your family's tastes, or the ingredients you have on hand. This is a vegetarian version with spaghetti sauce, ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan, egg, and, if you like, a generous amount of fresh basil. In baked pasta dishes like this, cooking the pasta only until al dente is important because otherwise it will be overcooked.
You can easily turn this into meat-based ziti by adding browned ground beef, or add roasted vegetables such as zucchini, eggplant, or bell peppers, to this easy
pasta dish. For a full meal, serve it up as an entrée with garlic bread and a green salad.
Baked ziti lends itself as a family dinner to be made ahead. You can boil the ziti and assemble all the ingredients, then refrigerate it for a few hours or until the next day when you are ready to bake it. Just make sure that you cover the pan well so that the top doesn't dry out. If you transfer the pan goes straight from the fridge to the oven, the baking time might be longer.
When the ziti comes out of the oven, it will be very hot, and the sauce is usually still a bit runny—that's why it needs to rest about 10 minutes before serving.
If you’ve ever wondered why ziti—and not rigatoni or penne—is the first choice for saucy, cheese casseroles like this, it is that the hollow, narrow shape of the pasta works especially well here. It is also interesting to note that baked ziti, called ziti al forno in Italian, is a dish with a long history going back to the Middle Ages in Italy, although it has gained special popularity in Italian American cuisine.
16 ounces ziti pasta
1 large egg
15 ounces ricotta cheese
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, optional
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
4 1/2 cups store-bought or homemade spaghetti sauce, divided
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Steps to Make It
Gather the ingredients. Preheat oven to 350 F.
Prepare pasta according to package directions for "al dente." Drain.
In a large bowl, beat egg. Add ricotta cheese, garlic powder, basil (if using), and 1 cup of the mozzarella. Mix well.
Add cooked pasta and 2 cups of the spaghetti sauce.
Pour 1 cup of the spaghetti sauce in a 9 x 13-inch pan.
Top with the ziti mixture. Top with the remaining sauce. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese over the sauce.
Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
Remove foil and bake another 10 to 20 minutes until golden brown and bubbly. Let the pasta rest 10 minutes before serving.