Meaty, tasty and cheesy, You will love this simple Baked Ziti for a hearty meal that the whole family will enjoy!
Pasta is one of the go-to dishes I turn to whenever I am stuck for dinner ideas. Between the Filipino style lasagna, baked macaroni and tuna pasta, we have a good rotation of pasta dishes going on. Oh and not to mention my nanay’s spaghetti. It is the most frequent of all, because man, it is so good!
Now, to throw one more to the rotation, we have Baked Ziti. Easy, simple but oozing with cheesy goodness and meaty flavor.
I love the flavor imparted by the Italian sausage. I am so fond of that spicy, sweet meat with that bite of distinct flavor very close to pepperoni. I love it in everything and it definitely shines in this Baked Ziti.
And I did mention cheesy, of course. Baked ziti is loaded with the goodness of the combo of ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan.
Pointers for Making Baked Ziti
- If you can’t find ziti pasta, you can use penne.
- Italian sausage is flavorful, you might not need to add salt to the sauce. You can season it or not as you prefer, depending on how salty the sauce and sausage you use. I used marinara sauce from the jar, and I ended up not needing to add salt.
- Some recipes say to coat the boiled pasta with oil after draining. I find that the sauce adheres poorly to the pasta if I grease them so I prefer not to.
- You can freeze baked ziti after it is baked. Just store in a covered, freezer- safe container for up to two weeks.
- You can make this dish ahead by prepping it right before baking. Store it assembled, covered in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
Then dig in! Sometimes, a good, comforting meal such as this Baked Ziti, a savory indulgence, is necessary for life.
Now call your troops, pass on the plates, feast on this warm, fresh from the oven Baked Ziti and end the day with a full heart, and stomach.
More savory recipes:
- Rosemary Chicken with Garlic
- Roasted Mini Potatoes
- Filipino Style Lasagna
- Burger Steak with Mushroom Gravy
- Five-Ingredient Lemon BBQ Chicken
- Sweet and Tangy Meatballs
- Soy Mustard Chicken
- 1 lb ziti or penne
- 1 lb italian sausage bulk
- 1 large onion diced
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tbsp italian seasoning
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 650 ml marinara sauce
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 2 and 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
- 1 cup parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp olive oil
In a large pot, boil water and add the pasta. Cook according to package directions. Drain.
Heat oil in a large pan. Cook the sausage over medium-high heat until brown. Add the onions and cook until soft. Add the garlic, pepper flakes, Italian seasoning and the marinara sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Let boil for 5 minutes. Turn off heat.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Spread a thin layer of the sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Drop dollops of half of the ricotta cheese on top. Combine the pasta and 1/2 of the remaining sauce and stir until all the pasta is coated. Add the pasta to the baking dish in an even layer.
Pour the remaining sauce over the pasta. Spread evenly and drop dollops of the remaining ricotta cheese. Sprinkle the parmesan and mozzarella. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly.