This Baked Ziti is an easy creamy Italian pasta dish. It can be made ahead if desired and serves 8-12 people. It is versatile because it can be made with ground Italian sausage or either ground beef or turkey. If you prefer to have it meatless, you can saute spinach with some onion and use that as a replacement for the meat. Either way, it is so good. This recipe came from my sister-in-law Patricia’s friend Karen, our family adopted it, and we serve it quite often. It uses jarred sauce that is mixed with ricotta cheese, spices and the meat ( or spinach). That mixture is tossed with cooked Ziti pasta and put into a 9 x 13 pan, topped with plain sauce and cheese and baked until hot and bubbly. If ziti pasta is not available, mostaccioli or penne works too. In the pictures below I used a gluten free mostaccioli pasta. This recipe is smells wonderful as it comes out of the oven hot and bubbly, and tastes delicious!
I usually serve this or any of my pasta dishes with an Italian Salad. Three of those have been posted on this blog in the past. If you click on “recipe index” above, and then choose salads, you can browse and choose the one you would prefer.
I hope you are enjoying autumn with its unique vegetables, especially all of the different squashes. I love butternut squash. Last Wednesday when I hosted my Bible study, I decided to serve 3 different soups along with some gluten free pumpkin muffins as a start to the evening. One of the soups was Kale and Butternut Squash Soup, another was a creamy butternut squash soup, and the third was a Pumpkin Curry soup (which I got from another food blog). I like curry, but I prefer a sweeter warm curry from the islands versus a spicy hot curry from the East. If you have tried curry in the past and didn’t care for it, the reason might have been just the variety of it. Different regions offer curries that are very distinct from each other. I didn’t mean to go off on a tangent about autumn soups and curry when this post is about a wonderful pasta recipe. So enjoy Fall with all it has to offer, and enjoy this comforting delicious Pasta dish.
- 1 16 oz. package Ziti or Mostaccioli dry pasta
- 1 pound ground beef, turkey or ground Italian sausage
- 1 15 oz. carton Ricotta cheese
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh Parsley (or 1 and ½ Tablespoons of dried)
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 2 15 oz. jars (or 1 29 oz. jar) spaghetti sauce
- 1 8 oz. pkg. shredded Mozzarella cheese
- Put a pot of water on to boil for the pasta
- When boiling add 1 Tablespoon salt and the pasta. Cook as per package directions
- While water is coming up to a boil
- Brown meat and break up while cooking.
- In a large bowl mix the Ricotta, Parmesan, parsley, egg, salt and pepper
- Stir in ½ of the sauce and the cooked meat (drained)
- When noodles are cooked al dente, drain them and add to the sauce and cheese mixture
- Put the mixture into a sprayed 9X13 baking dish
- Pour the remaining ½ of the jarred sauce over the top
- Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese on top of the sauce
- Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until hot and bubbly.
- This freezes very well.