Often, we use the phrase “blond Italians” in our home.
No, we are not Italian, but by the way we inhale all things considered to be “Italian food,” we need to be.
We LOVE our pasta! There’s nothing yummier to smell than homemade sauce simmering on the stove, but in my stage of life, I’ve had to let go of always serving homemade pasta sauce and have chosen to “doctor up” some of the store bought ones available.
For our family, baked pastas top the list of our comfort food selections, and this one is very simple, cozy, meatless choice. This meal went so fast that I didn’t even have time to snap a picture of the entire dish.
“No, stop eating. I haven’t gotten a picture yet.”
So, this is a scaled down version of what I made.
This makes a wonderful “Cooking with Kids” meal since we are not cooking our noodles first,. My nine year old can mix this up, since she doesn’t have to worry about pre-cooking the noodles and transferring them on her own.
Remember that you may vary your choices of quick cooking pastas. We used traditional ziti noodles, but try curly rotini, bow ties, tri colored varieties or angel hair. All of them will vary the look, but still give you the delicious end result.
The basic meatless recipe that I am sharing is wonderful as written, but feel free to add in some ground sausage or small pieces of cooked chicken as an option. Serve with the 5 Minute Artisan Style Homemade Bread, and you will be the new food hero in your home.
Recipe: Easy Baked Ziti Recipe
Summary: With three cheeses and no need to precook the pasta, this easy comfort food recipe will tempt you to make baked ziti every night.
- 1 jar favorite tomato-based pasta sauce (26 ounces)
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 container ricotta cheese (15 ounces)
- 1/4 grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 package grated mozzarella cheese (8 ounces)
- 1 box ziti (8 ounces)
- 1 tb. Italian seasoning *
- Minced garlic*
- garlic salt, garlic powder *
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Combine the sauce, seasonings and water into a large mixing bowl.
- Stir in the Ricotta cheese, minced garlic,* Parmesan, and 1/ the Mozzarella cheese, then the UNCOOKED ziti.
- Spoon the mixture into a 9×13 baking dish and cover it with foil.
- Bake for 55 minutes.
- Remove the foil and sprinkle the remaining mozzarella, then bake uncovered for about 5 more minutes, until cheese is melted.
- Serve with french bread and salad.
I always double the recipe, but when I do, I do not use a full 30 ounces of ricotta. I will mix half ricotta and half cottage cheese to cut the cost and calories, and then only use about 24 ounces. Whenever making a recipe for the first time, follow the directions as written and then have fun tweaking to your preferences.
This freezes very well, so mix up two meals and save one for later.
Preparation time: 10 minute(s)
Cooking time: 1 hour(s)
Number of servings (yield): 4