Dinner

Baked Pasta

Baked Ziti Pasta is a perfect family meal you can enjoy together on weekends. Made with plenty of marinaras, loads of mozzarella and parmesan cheese, and creamy ricotta, this pasta dish is not only easy t make but is also finger-licking good.

Whether it’s a family get-together or a friend’s party, you can serve this wholesome pasta dish and impress the crowd with your Italian culinary skills.

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Baked Pasta


  • Author: Cher
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 35 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x

Description

Baked ziti pasta is a perfect blend of marinara sauce along with creaminess and cheesiness from ricotta and mozzarella cheese. Topped with freshly chopped basil, this baked ziti is a complete family meal.


Ingredients

Scale

2 cups marinara sauce

2 cups ziti pasta

1 cup ricotta cheese

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp lemon zest

½ tsp oregano

¼ tsp red chili flakes

½ tsp black pepper

¼ tsp salt

1 tbsp olive oil

2 cups spinach, fresh

¾ cup mozzarella cheese, smoked

¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated

¼ cup basil leaves, chopped


Instructions

  1. Fill the pot with water and place on medium heat to let it boil.
  2. Add pasta and cook according to the instructions.
  3. Drain and set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, add ricotta, minced garlic, oregano, lemon zest, salt, chili flakes, and black pepper and mix well.
  5. Place the pot on low heat. Drizzle olive oil and add fresh spinach. Sauté for 1 minute or two. Remove from the pan and roughly chop it.
  6. Add the pasta to the pot and pour in 1 ½ cups of marinara sauce, chopped spinach, salt, and black pepper to taste. Mix well until everything is well combined.
  7. In a baking dish, pour in the remaining ½ cup marinara sauce and spread it at the bottom. Add half pasta to the baking dish. Add a layer of ricotta mixture and add the remaining pasta on top.
  8. Top the pasta with smoked mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
  9. Place the baking dish in a preheated oven at 425-degree F for 20 minutes or until the cheese is brown.

For serving:

Once the pasta is done, garnish with chopped basil and serve immediately. You can also serve it alongside your favorite salad like kale salad or Caesar salad.

Notes

You can also use ground beef or sausages along with the marinara sauce.

You can store the leftover pasta in an airtight container and microwave it the next day. Furthermore, you can also freeze it for up to a week.

The use of lemon zest and basil adds freshness to the dish. The lemon cuts through the creamy ricotta and complements the flavor perfectly well. Furthermore, adding spinach not only gives it a vibrant taste but adds health and freshness to the pasta.

Try this delicious, mouth-watering, fulfilling baked pasta dish with tones of flavor from the marinara, spinach, lemony ricotta, smoked mozzarella, and parmesan. Try it once and I bet you won’t resist making it again and again.