Simple homemade baked ziti is one of the most delicious, ooey-gooey cheesy, comforting recipes out there! There’s this little neighborhood pizzeria about two miles from one of our old houses in Maryland that has the best baked ziti recipe I’ve ever eaten.
I don’t claim to be a baked ziti expert, but I know a good Italian recipe when I taste one. And what I loved most about their baked ziti is that it’s simple; it doesn’t taste fussy or overdone.
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Just the right amount of fresh basil and fresh mozzarella, a sauce and ricotta ratio near to perfection, and barely a touch of their light marinara on top.
Did I mention ooey, gooey fresh mozzarella?
Over the weekend I decided to roll up my sleeves and take a stab at making baked ziti at home in one of my favorite casserole dishes (get the link below in the recipe card).
I mean, it’s not difficult, and the ingredients are really no secret.
And I, too, kept it simple — although I was lacking some of the fresh ingredients I would have preferred.
Still, we were all pleased.
By the way, my easy homemade Italian bread (made the same afternoon) went perfectly!
- 1 23.5oz jar organic marinara sauce
- 3-1/2 cups dry ziti or penne pasta
- 1 8-ounce fresh mozzarella ball OR 1-1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped basil OR 2 tablespoons dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt + 2 tablespoons for the pasta water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Bring water and 2 tablespoons of salt to boil in a large pot. Add the pasta and cook it to al dente. Drain.
- Mix the marinara, ricotta, 3/4 cup mozzarella, 1/4 cup Parmesan, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the basil together in a large bowl. Add the pasta, stirring gently to coat completely.
- Coat the bottom of a 9x13" baking dish with olive oil. Spread the pasta mixture evenly in the dish. Sprinkle the top with the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until the baked ziti is bubbly and golden brown on top.
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- Bialetti Oval 5 Quart Pasta Pot with Strainer Lid, Nonstick, 1, Black
- OXO Good Grips Large Wooden Spoon, Beech
- Pyrex Glass Mixing Bowl Set (3-Piece)
- Qimh Collapsible Colander Set of 3 Round Silicone Kitchen Strainer Set - 2 pcs 4 Quart and 1 pcs 2 Quart- Perfect for Draining Pasta, Vegetable and fruit (green,blue, purple)
- CorningWare French White III 3-Quart Ceramic Oblong Casserole Dish with Sleeve | Oven, Microwave, Refrigerator and Freezer Safe
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 487Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 71mgSodium: 1280mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 4gSugar: 8gProtein: 27g