Total Time
Prep 10 mins
Cook 40 mins

a different twist on baked ziti


  1. preheat oven to 350.
  2. oil an 8x8 baking dish.
  3. cook pasta in salted water for 7 min, drain, and tinse.
  4. heat 1 1/2 tbsp of the oil in a pan over med- low heat.
  5. cook onion until it becomes translucent.
  6. add garlic and cook it for 30 sec.
  7. add tomato, salt, and bay leaf.
  8. raise heat to medium.
  9. simmer mixture for 10 min or until it gets very thick.
  10. remove the bay leaf and stir in 1/4 tsp pepper.
  11. in a bowl, combine the pesto, half the parmesan, the ricotta, 1 cup of the mozzarella, and the remaining black pepper.
  12. put 1/2 of the pasta in the baking dish.
  13. top with 1/3 of the sauce.
  14. spread entire cheese mixture evenly over the sauce.
  15. cover with the remaining pasta, sauce, and cheese.
  16. drizzle 1/2 tbsp olive oil over the top layer of cheese.
  17. bake until bubbling (about 30 min).
  18. let stand at least 10 minutes before cutting.
Most Helpful

What a great variation on baked ziti! We loved the pesto flavour, and I'd probably add even more pesto next time. I had a couple of minor problems with the recipe. The ricotta mixture was a bit on the dry side - I would moisten it with some cream or milk next time. Also, the ingredient list states 1/2 cup of mozzarella, but the ricotta mixture needs 1 cup. I assume that the list should state 1 1/2 cups, 1 cup for the ricotta mixture and 1/2 cup for topping. With a moister cheese layer and corrections to the recipe this would be at least 4 stars. Thank you for a great twist on baked ziti.

Cookin-jo June 16, 2008

Thank you! Thank you! This was such a flavorable recipe and a nice change from normal baked ziti. My 17 year old daughter made this for supper.Trying to teach her how to cook. LOL She did all on her own. We doubled the recipe to feed six and served it with three cheese Texas toast and side salad. Oh yes, the only change we made was not to put the oil on top to cut out some calories and we used nonfat ricotta cheese, low fat pesto and mozzarella cheese. This will definately be made again.

Audrey M October 20, 2003

An enthusiastic five stars! Everyone loved it, very delicious, and it's simple to get consistent results. I will definitely be adding this recipe to my regular rotation and making it many times in the future. My only nitpick is, why such small portions? This recipe should be doubled. Why bother to cook if you don't make a full sized batch in a 9x13 pan? If you're going to the trouble, might as well make a full sized recipe for the same effort, especially since this is one of those dishes that is even better reheated the next day. Why only use half a box of pasta and half a container of ricotta and half the jar of pesto? Just double the batch. I tripped myself up a bit trying to remember to double everything, I wish they had just published this recipe in double amounts to begin with.

licked_cupcake August 26, 2013