Baked Ziti

Last week I decided to make something a little different for dinner. My husband really enjoys lasagna, but because it was a weeknight we didn’t have the time to take quite that long. I settled on baked ziti!

It’s funny, whenever my family goes out to dinner it’s usually to an Italian restaurant. My husband also has an Italian grandma. Despite all that, I never typically cook Italian.


My newbie attempt adapted from Taste of Home turned out pretty well, and I made enough ziti to almost overflow my shallow 13×9 ceramic baking dish. I don’t like a lot of vegetables in my pasta sauce, so I left them out and instead added Italian sausage, oregano, parsley flakes and more red pepper flakes. I also took out the provolone cheese so that it wasn’t quite so cheesy.

I had meant to include some spinach as well, but unfortunately I forgot to include it. I’d love to hear your ziti recipe and see what you recommend as well!


Baked Ziti
adapted from Taste of Home

1 cup onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans (14 oz.) Italian diced tomatoes
1 can (15 oz.) crushed tomatoes
1 tiny can of tomato paste
1 cup vegetable broth
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 box ziti
1 cup (8 oz.) part-skim ricotta cheese
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a large nonstick skillet, saute the onion and garlic until onion is translucent. Stir in tomatoes, broth and red pepper flakes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for approximately 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425F. Cook ziti according to package instructions. Drain and return to pot. Stir in the tomato mixture, ricotta and basil.

Transfer to a shallow 13×9 baking dish and sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake uncovered for 10-15 minutes until cheese is melted.