You know what I love about baked ziti? You really can’t mess it up, no matter how hard you try.
And while I love to drool over all the food porn I find online, I don’t really attempt to make most of the recipes. Why? Because the purpose of this blog (and my personal motto in life really) is to enhance, not irritate or cause anxiety. Most everything on this site (recipe and crafts included) is pretty easy.
Want to make a doughnut from scratch? Fry refrigerated biscuit dough. Want pancakes? Make one big one, all at once. With the exception of a few items, like rainbow cookies and marshmallows (which really are easier than they look) almost every recipe ingredient and step can end in -ish. Actually most aspects of my life end in -ish. My house is clean-ish. My hair is styled-ish. My bank account has cash, sometimes-ish.
Okay, so let’s make some baked ziti – ish.
What you need:
- One Box of ziti
- One 20-ounce jar of pasta sauce (more or less, depending preference)
- Package of shredded mozzarella cheese (sometime 2, depends how much you love the cheese.)
- One 16-oz tub of ricotta
- One pound of ground beef or sausage (optional)
- Maybe some sliced mozzarella for the top (optional)
That’s it! No measuring cups. Now let’s put it together.
- Set aside a small amount of sauce and shredded cheese
- Boil pasta and drain. (You can grill the beef or sausage when you do this, if you are including it.)
- Mix pasta, sauce, ricotta, shredded cheese and optional meat in a giant bowl.
- Spread a small amount of sauce on the bottom of baking dish (9×9 inch is good).
- Pour contents of bowl in baking dish.
- Spread remaining amount of sauce on top and then sprinkle with cheese that was set aside (or slices of mozzarella.)
That’s it. Now let’s bake it.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes (maybe put some foil 0ver the dish for the first 30 minutes or so. I like the occasional burnt edge but you might not. )
That’s it! Time to eat!
From this basic recipe you can sub different cheeses and sauces, add veggies or change pasta. Seriously, that is it. As for baking, my Mom taught me almost everything can be baked at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. It’s kind of a universal law for casseroles.
Oh, and dishes are minimal. One pot to boil and prep pasta (after draining use to mix up the ingredients. And one pan to bake it in. A frying pan if you plan on cooking up some meat.