Creamy Baked Ziti

Baked ziti has always been one of my favorites. How can you say no to that bubbling, cheesy goodness fresh from the oven?

DSC_0036This is a pretty quick meal to throw together, especially if you’re like me and always have a jar of homemade marinara sauce in the fridge. Just boil your pasta, mix with sauce and cheese, and pop it in the oven for a few minutes. Use the marinara sauce from my first post for a quick, flavorful sauce.

DSC_0038I add a small amount of ricotta cheese to this ziti to give it a creamier, richer texture. And because I have no shame for my love of cheese. But even if you’re not a cheese fanatic like myself, you’ll love the oomph the ricotta gives this baked ziti dish. The pasta comes out moist and full of classic Italian flavors. You won’t be disappointed!

Baked Ziti

  • 1/2 box of ziti
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 2 links Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1/3 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup mozarella, plus more to sprinkle on top of ziti
  • Half of a medium onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbls. olive oil
  • Grated Parmesan

Let’s Cook

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add ziti and boil, uncovered, until just undercooked. Strain and set aside.
  3. While pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add garlic and onion, sauteing until soft, 2-3 minutes. Add in the sausage and continue to cook over medium heat until sausage is no longer pink, 6-7 minutes.
  4. In a large, oven proof dish, combine pasta, sausage mixture, marinara sauce, ricotta cheese, and mozzarella cheese. Stir until well combined. Top with more mozzarella cheese and grated Parmesan.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until cheese has melted.
  6. Top with extra Parmesan.

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