Lions Plate: Delicious Italian Baked Ziti

By Julia Dzurillay
Columnist

Baked ziti and lasagna go hand in hand as staples in most Italian households. As a proud Italian-American and an e-board member of Culinary Club, I made sure one of the first recipes we made together was baked ziti. We brought a tray of the gooey goodness to the Astronomy Club’s Star Party last year — it was gone within minutes.

Here is the Culinary Club’s version of baked ziti. Of course, the best way to make this would be with homemade sauce, but we used Barilla’s Traditional Marinara sauce to save time and money. Some Italians add cooked ground beef to their baked ziti, but this dish can stand without meat.

Baked ziti is full of hearty ingredients like melted mozzarella cheese. (Flickr)

Ingredients:
1 lb ziti pasta
1 lb ricotta cheese
3 cups mozzarella cheese, grated
3 cups spaghetti sauce
3 tbsps olive oil
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 cup Fresh basil, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste

 

Makes: Six servings

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cook ziti according to directions on box. After it has been cooked and drained, toss ziti in a large bowl with 2 tbsps olive oil.
  3. Add ricotta cheese and 2 cups of mozzarella cheese. Stir.
  4. Coat a 13×9 inch pan with the remaining olive oil.
  5. Add 1 and 1/2 cups of spaghetti sauce to the pan.
  6. Pour ziti mixture into pan. Cover pasta with remaining tomato sauce.
  7. Add parmesan cheese and the remaining mozzarella cheese on top. Sprinkle with fresh basil.
  8. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the top layer of cheese has melted. Top with salt and pepper. Enjoy!

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