Ziti are a type of extruded pasta that are a little smaller than rigatoni. They are normally smooth with straight cut ends, though ziti rigati have ridged edges. Traditionally found in the region of Campania, and hailing from the beautiful city of Naples, ziti are best enjoyed in delicious, tomato-based recipes. Baked ziti is really tasty and easy to throw together, making it the perfect mid-week meal option. Serve with a light summer salad and enjoy straight from the oven.
Make our Famous Baked Ziti
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Calories per serving: 499kcal
- 2tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
- ½ tsp chilli flakes
- 500g tomato passata or 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
- 1 tsp salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 350g ziti
- 120g ricotta cheese
- 50g Parmesan, grated
- 250g mozzarella cheese, roughly chopped
- 15g fresh basil leaves, roughly torn
- Preheat your oven to 190°C (170°C if you have a fan oven).
- Bring a large pot of boiling water to the boil and add a generous pinch of salt. Cook your ziti as per the instructions on the packet.
- Whilst the ziti cooks, heat your olive oil in a large pan or skillet. Cook the onions for about 5-10 mins, until translucent and then add the garlic and the chilli flakes and cook for a few more minutes.
- Add the tomato passata or the chopped tomatoes to the pan and bring to a gentle simmer. Season with a little salt and pepper and a few basil leaves.
- When the pasta is cooked, remove from the heat and drain off the water.
- Mix the ricotta and half of the Parmesan together to form a creamy filling, add a little pinch of salt to taste.
- Add half of your tomato sauce to the drained pasta and toss to coat thoroughly. Then fold in the ricotta mixture, it doesn’t have to be thoroughly combined as having pockets of ricotta will add to the finished dish.
- Transfer half of your pasta into a large oven-proof dish and sprinkle a layer of mozzarella on top.
- Add the rest of your pasta on top of this to form a second layer and pour what’s left of your pasta sauce over this. Top with the remaining mozzarella and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and a few torn up basil leaves.
- Bake the ziti in the preheated oven for around 30 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the edges are beginning to bubble.
- Allow to cool for a few moments and then serve your ziti bake. Buon appetito!
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