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weeknight baked ziti // cait's plate

weeknight baked ziti

  • Author: Cait
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x
  • Category: dinner

Description

this easy, budget-friendly vegetarian baked ziti comes together quickly and is sure to please a crowd. serve up with a big salad, steamed veggies or some crusty bread to round it all out!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ziti (or other pasta of choice)
  • 12 jars of your favorite marinara sauce
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella (more or less as desired) – note, don’t buy pre-shredded cheese, it has anti-cake ingredients in it that will cause it not to melt as well.  buy a block and shred it yourself for maximum gooey melt!
  • 2 cups shredded parmesan (more or less as desired) – note, don’t buy pre-shredded cheese, it has anti-cake ingredients in it that will cause it not to melt as well.  buy a block and shred it yourself for maximum gooey melt!
  • 8 oz. ricotta cheese
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • Chopped fresh basil, for garnish
  • Optional: pinch of red pepper flakes, 1 tablespoon dried oregano

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and grease a 9×13″ baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Cook pasta 1 minute less than directions state (you want it to be al dente).  Drain and set pasta aside.
  3. Add 1 jar marinara sauce (and oregano and red pepper flakes, if using) to a dutch oven and heat over medium low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove from heat and add in pasta, stirring to break up any clumps of pasta.  If desired, add more marinara then set aside.
  5. Mix together ricotta with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt & pepper.
  6. Pour half the pasta into the prepared baking sheet.  Top with ricotta mixture and 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella and parmesan.
  7. Pour remaining pasta over ricotta and cheese then top with remaining cheese.
  8. Bake for ~25 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned & bubbling.
  9. Sprinkle with freshly chopped basil before serving.

Notes

  • Baked ziti will keep for 4-5 days in an airtight container in the fridge

Keywords: baked ziti, pasta, vegetarian, dinner

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