Baked Ziti


I started cooking when I was about 10. Sure, the meals weren’t always of the highest caliber (hello, Betty Crocker scalloped potatoes as a dinner), but I did make some decent stuff for a 5th grader. I remember one of the first dishes I made was a baked pasta dish I found on the back of a Prince pasta box. My mom was super impressed. I’m pretty sure the ingredients were pasta, jarred sauce, ground beef, and shredded cheese. And I’ve made some variation of that for two decades now. Sure, things have morphed to the point of actually seasoning the ground beef and making my own sauce (though admittedly, I often keep a jar of pasta sauce around for convenience, too), but the idea has served me well.

Sometimes, though, you need a little change of pace. And though this recipe for baked ziti is pretty “standard” it’s also pretty awesome. I love how the sauce has some cream in it to make it more luxurious, and adding two additional types of cheese is always a winner in my book.

Speaking of the cream, I made half of this recipe but accidentally forgot to cut the amount of cream in half. Oopsie! I guess since I used half and half, it ended  up being about the same number of calories? Hah. That said, I liked that it had both a little extra creaminess and liquid so I’m upping the amount in the original recipe just a little (but not double) below. The only other change I made was to use ricotta instead of cottage cheese (I just like it much better) and add some turkey sausage, like Annie did. I used a spicy Italian sausage and it was a lot spicier than usual. Poor Zachary took a massive bite and said “meatball too hot! Too hot, mom!” Yikes. Mother of the year moment right there.

That aside, this baked ziti was a huge hit, and I can’t wait to make it again.

Baked Ziti

6 thoughts on “Baked Ziti

  1. I’m pretty sure the only thing I knew how to make when I was a kid was peanut butter and jelly so I am DEFINITELY impressed by your baked pasta! And now I am SO craving baked ziti…haven’t had it in years, but I want it….now.

  2. Hmmm baked pasta! Even though I’ve been cooking since I was about the same age as you were, I never ventured into the baked pasta world. I kept to sopes, quesadillas and desserts. Great recipe!

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