Classic Baked Ziti is Italian comfort food at its best. This is a recipe that will make a regular appearance on your monthly dinner menu.
My Maternal Grandparents came to America from Italy in the early 20th century so I come by loving Italian food naturally. I remember my Grandmother making pasta in my Mom’s kitchen.
Although I didn’t hand make this pasta for the classic baked ziti and the recipe uses your favorite jarred pasta sauce it is delicious. You certainly could make your own sauce and use it here. I serve some sauce on the side for anyone who would like more along with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
This is a great family-style company dish that can be dressed up with a great salad and garlic toast. Refrigerate leftovers and reheat in the oven, not the microwave. It will heat more evenly if you do it in the oven. When making this dish, be sure to use a large sauté pan or your mixture may overflow.
After dinner serve my Italian cream cake with nutty cream cheese frosting or Italian almond cookies for dessert. Buon appetito!
- 1 pound ziti
- 1 lb ground beef
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 cups meatless spaghetti sauce, divided
- 1 cup pasta water, reserved from draining ziti
- 2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Slightly undercook ziti.
- Drain reserving 1 cup of pasta water, cover and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- In large skillet over medium heat, cook beef, onion and garlic; stirring frequently 6 to 8 minutes or until beef is browned. Drain fat.
- Stir in 5 cups spaghetti sauce and reserved pasta water. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Mix the meat/sauce mixture with ziti. Spoon ½ of ziti mixture into 13x9x2" baking dish. Sprinkle with Mozzarella and ½ of Parmesan cheese. Top with remaining ziti mixture and remaining 1 cup spaghetti sauce. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake 25 - 30 minutes or until heated through.