Prep 25 mins
Cook 30 mins
The sauteed onions and garlic are the key to making this dish so delicious. Feel free to add mushrooms or zucchini to the saute pan- just don't add any veggies directly to the baking pan without sauteeing them first or the flavor and texture will suffer.
- 1 lb ziti pasta or 1 lb rigatoni pasta or 1 lb penne
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 (14 ounce) can whole tomatoes
- 1 1⁄4 cups ricotta cheese
- 8 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1⁄4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 1⁄3 cup parsley, chopped
- 1⁄2 tablespoon dried basil (or 1/4 cup fresh, shredded)
- 1⁄2 tablespoon dried oregano
- black pepper, freshly ground
- 1⁄4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄4 cup olive oil
- 1⁄4 cup breadcrumbs
- Cook the ziti to just before al dente.
- Coat a 9'x12" baking dish with olive oil. Set aside.
- In a skillet, heat the remaining olive oil over medium-high heat. Cook the onion until translucent.
- Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Don't let the garlic brown.
- Crush the tomatoes with your hands and add to the skillet. Add in the juice from the can.
- Cook for 3-5 minutes.
- In a large bowl mix the ricotta and mozarella cheeses.
- Add the parsley, basil, oregano, salt, red pepper, a few grinds of pepper, and mix.
- Add the tomato-onion mixture and mix well.
- When the ziti is drained add to the cheese mixture and toss well to coat the pasta.
- Spoon the mixture into the baking dish.
- Sprinkle the bread crumbs and parmesan cheese on top of the pasta.
- Bake at 400F for 20-30 minutes, or until lightly browned.
- Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
I made this as my first attempt at baked ziti having always fancied trying it after hearing about it so much in The Sopranos! Added mushrooms and courgette, and will tinker with the spices a little next time but really tasty and filling. Thanks!
I simply doubled this recipe and added 1 medium sized zucchini. I cooked it for the full 30 min. The top layer of ziti was very dry and a bit hard. Next time I will cook it for 20 min. only. It also definitely needed more spices.
I made alot of changes to this recipe, but since I never made ziti with sauteed veggies and breadcrumbs before I'll rate it. Instead of whole tomatoes I used half a jar of tomato sauce. For the spices I used Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes. I also added in some shredded cooked chicken and tuna. It came out great and everybody here enjoyed it.