09 November 2019

Weekend Cooking: Baked Ziti

Weekend Cooking at Beth Fish ReadsHello everyone! This week I have a very short and sweet post. When you're reading this, I'll be at my annual fall lace-making workshop / retreat. My traditional contribution is to make a pasta dinner on Saturday night.

This year, I'm going bold by making a recipe I've never made before. Well, let me back up. I've made many versions of baked ziti over the years, but I don't have any particular go-to recipe. So the other day I did an internet search and found the recipe I'm sharing here. If you have a favorite recipe, please share!

I picked it because it got a ton of 5 stars and over 200 positive comments. Fingers crossed that my friends will like it.

The recipe says you can assemble the dish ahead ahead and bake later, but because made the casserole two days early, I was worried about the noodles getting too mushy or absorbing all the sauce.

So I decided to go ahead and bake it and then just reheat it Saturday. Fortunately, I'm cooking for friends and I'm not too concerned about trying to impress anyone. If it's dry, well, then, I learned something. We'll eat it anyway. Plus someone else is making a salad and we'll have plenty of baked goods for dessert.

The recipe comes from Simply Recipes. Because the website says you can't use their photos without prior written permission, I'm using a random baked ziti photo I found on the internet. I forgot to photograph my own pan of baked of ziti, and I don't want to unwrap it since it's all ready to go into the cooler for my trip.

Baked Ziti
from Simply Recipes
Weekend Cooking at Beth Fish ReadsServes at least 8

  • 1 pound ziti pasta
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound bulk Italian sausage
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 large jar of marinara sauce (about 24 oz)
  • 1 heaping cup of ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 pound of mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Cook the pasta to al dente according to the package instructions. When cooked, drain and toss with a little olive oil to prevent the noodles from sticking.

Brown the meat over medium-high heat. When brown, drain most of the grease. Add the onion and cook until softened. Add the garlic and spices and cook for about 1 minute. Add the marinara sauce, mix well, and bring to a simmer.

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Spread a thin layer of sauce over the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Dot with about half the ricotta. Stir a ladle full of sauce into the noodles and then put into the pan. Top with the remaining sauce. Dot the top with the remaining ricotta. Sprinkle on the mozzarella and then the Parmesan. Bake for about 20 minutes until the cheese has melted and the sauce is bubbly.
Weekend Cooking hosted by www.BethFishReads.comWeekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page.

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rhapsodyinbooks 11/9/19, 6:12 AM  

The ziti looks wonderful. Gosh, I can't believe it's time for the lace-making workshop already. How time flies these days!

Mae Travels 11/9/19, 6:41 AM  

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

GypsyPlate 11/9/19, 6:48 AM  

Sounds good Beth, can't go wrong with baked ziti!

gluten Free A_Z Blog 11/9/19, 7:12 AM  

I hope everything turns out well for the workshop and your ziti. Maybe you could add a little more sauce before reheating so it doesn't dry out.

bermudaonion 11/9/19, 8:12 AM  

Your retreat sounds like so much fun - y'all are smart to prepare the food ahead of time so you can just enjoy each other while you're there.

Mary R. 11/9/19, 9:17 AM  

That sounds very much like my go-to baked ziti recipe -- should be delicious. Thanks for sharing.

Claudia 11/9/19, 9:57 AM  

Have fun and enjoy! The Baked Ziti recipe looks good, and might we see some finished lace project you all have made?

Gimme The Scoop 11/9/19, 10:49 AM  

Looks just like what I need on this chilly day here! Yummmmy!

Deb in Hawaii 11/9/19, 11:04 AM  

Your baked ziti looks amazing--perfect comfort food! Have a great time and definitely post some of your creations. ;-)

Jinjer-The Intrepid Angeleno 11/9/19, 11:11 AM  

A lot of seasonings so should be packed with flavor! Let us know how it turned out!

Jackie McGuinness 11/9/19, 12:14 PM  

I'm not a big pasta fan, but John is. I think I will make this for him!

Tina 11/9/19, 12:43 PM  

There are many variations of ziti and I never met one I didn’t like.
Loving your lace photos on IG !

Vicki 11/9/19, 4:32 PM  

Sounds really good! I hope you have a great time on your retreat!

Les in Oregon 11/9/19, 10:08 PM  

We love ziti, but I've only used Trisha Yearwood's recipe (shared on my blog here) and this recipe sounds quite a bit easier. Adding it to my stack of recipes to try this month. Thanks!

Melynda@Scratch Made Food! 11/10/19, 12:41 PM  

That Ziti looks really good and would be perfect to enjoy in place of lasagne because well basically, I am lazy! Who does not love pasta, cheese and sauce?

(Diane) bookchickdi 11/10/19, 5:18 PM  

My sister-in-law makes a terrific meatless baked ziti- it's a Cooks Illustrated recipe.

Clarissa 11/12/19, 8:09 AM  

It was AMAZING and not dry at all! Definitely a keeper!

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