Baked Ziti

This is a classic Italian dish and a staple in my household. Its great for entertaining, potlucks or even just a quiet night in with the family. With cheap and easily obtainable ingredients this dish is very easy to make--and let the kids help make while maintaining savory and delicious.


  • 1 LBS Ziti – Penne is also an acceptable substitution. I feel it is a hardier noodle that allows the sauce and cheese to stick better due to the ridges.
  • 24oz Ricotta – Any Brand
  • ½ LBS Mild Italian Sausage (Optional)
  • 1 Egg, beaten
  • 6 leaves of Basil, minced
  • 24oz Jarred Tomato Sauce – Any brand and you prefer works. Or if you have a homemade, red sauce that works just as well too.
  • 4 cups mozzarella
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Large mixing bowl
  • 9x13 baking dish


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. Make pasta as directed on box. Only cook to al dente. It is very important not to overcook the pasta as it will cook more in the oven.
  3. Brown Sausage, drain well.
  4. As the pasta cooks combine ricotta, egg, sausage and basil in a large bowl until thoroughly mixed. Add 2 cups of the mozzarella as well as salt and pepper to taste and mix again.
  5. Once pasta is al dente, completely drain and add into ricotta mixture. It is easier to add the pasta in thirds, to ensure even coating of ricotta mixture.
  6. Now that the pasta is completely coated, cover the bottom of your baking dish with a thin layer of tomato sauce.
  7. Spread the pasta mixture over the thin layer of sauce. Top pasta with the remainder of the sauce, use a spoon to spread it evenly.
  8. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the oven for 40 minutes.
  9. After 40 minutes, sprinkle remaining mozzarella and parmesan over the top. Return to oven until cheese is completely melted.
  10. Allow to rest for 10 minutes out of the oven before serving. Then enjoy!

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