Posted by Parmesan.com
Baked ziti is a well-loved comfort food that people never seem to get tired of. Made with a high quality store-bought meat-flavored tomato sauce, this is an easy baked ziti and it will be very good. To make this baked ziti recipe even better, use your own homemade tomato sauce. Expand this baked ziti recipe to make baked ziti with meat by browning and seasoning ground beef and spreading it over the first pasta layer. As a variation, substitute Italian sausage for the ground beef for a spicy baked ziti with sausage. Sprinkle freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano® cheese over the top of your casserole before baking to give it a crunchy, flavorful finish.
Baked ziti with meat and baked ziti with sausage can be prepared ahead and frozen for later use. Or while you’re at it, make two baked ziti recipes—one for now and one for later. Easy baked ziti is also a wonderful dish to bring to a potluck.
Prep Time - 20 min | Cooking Time - 30 min
1. Preheat oven to 425° F
2. Cook ziti in a large quantity of well salted rapidly boiling water until very al dente, about 6 minutes. Drain.
3. In a large bowl, mix ziti with half of the sauce.
4. Spread bottom of a 9 x 13 x 3-inch baking dish with one tablespoon of the remaining sauce. Add half of the ziti in an even layer. Sprinkle with half of the Parmigiano Reggiano. Spread all of the Ricotta over this. Then arrange all of the Mozzarella in a single overlapping layer. Add one half of the remaining sauce and spread evenly. Add remaining ziti in an even layer and sprinkle with remaining Parmigiano Reggiano. Disperse remaining sauce over the top in small dollops.
5. Bake for 30 minutes. Serve immediately.