Easy Homemade Italian Baked Ziti Recipe: Authentic & Best
What is Baked Ziti?
Baked ziti is a classic Italian-American dish that is loved by many.
It is a casserole dish made with ziti pasta, a type of tube-shaped pasta, combined with a rich tomato sauce, cheese, and sometimes meat.
The dish is then baked in the oven until the cheese is melted and bubbly, creating a delicious and comforting meal.
What is the history of Baked Ziti?
The exact origins of baked ziti are unclear, but it is believed to have originated in southern Italy.
It is similar to other Italian pasta dishes such as lasagna and baked rigatoni.
Baked ziti became popular in the United States in the early 20th century, particularly among Italian immigrants.
Today, it is a staple in Italian-American cuisine and is enjoyed by people of all backgrounds.
What ingredients do you need for Baked Ziti?
To make a delicious homemade baked ziti, you will need the following ingredients:
- 1 pound of ziti pasta
- 1 pound of ground beef or Italian sausage (optional)
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 can (28 ounces) of crushed tomatoes
- 1 can (15 ounces) of tomato sauce
- 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon of dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
- 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup of chopped fresh basil (optional)
How to make Baked Ziti?
Follow these simple steps to make a delicious homemade baked ziti:
- Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Cook the ziti pasta according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
- If using ground beef or Italian sausage, cook it in a large skillet over medium heat until browned. Remove any excess grease.
- Add the diced onion and minced garlic to the skillet and cook until the onion is translucent.
- Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, dried oregano, dried basil, salt, and black pepper to the skillet. Stir to combine.
- Simmer the sauce for about 10 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked ziti pasta and the sauce. Mix well to ensure that the pasta is evenly coated.
- Transfer half of the pasta mixture to a greased 9x13-inch baking dish.
- Sprinkle half of the shredded mozzarella cheese and grated Parmesan cheese over the pasta.
- Repeat the layers with the remaining pasta and cheese.
- Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Remove from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving.
- Garnish with chopped fresh basil, if desired.
What are some variations of Baked Ziti?
Baked ziti is a versatile dish that can be customized to suit your taste.
Here are some variations you can try:
- Vegetarian Baked Ziti: Omit the ground beef or Italian sausage and add your favorite vegetables, such as mushrooms, bell peppers, or spinach.
- Meat Lover's Baked Ziti: Use a combination of ground beef, Italian sausage, and pepperoni for a hearty and flavorful dish.
- Four Cheese Baked Ziti: Add additional cheeses such as ricotta, fontina, or provolone to create a rich and creamy dish.
- Spicy Baked Ziti: Add red pepper flakes or diced jalapenos to the sauce for a kick of heat.
What can you serve with Baked Ziti?
Baked ziti is a filling and satisfying dish on its own, but you can also serve it with a variety of accompaniments.
Here are some ideas:
- Garlic bread: Serve warm garlic bread on the side to soak up the delicious sauce.
- Green salad: Pair your baked ziti with a fresh green salad dressed with vinaigrette.
- Roasted vegetables: Serve roasted vegetables such as broccoli, zucchini, or carrots for a healthy and colorful side dish.
- Italian antipasto: Create a platter of Italian cured meats, cheeses, olives, and marinated vegetables for a flavorful and festive spread.
Is Baked Ziti healthy?
Baked ziti is a hearty and indulgent dish that is not typically considered healthy.
However, you can make some modifications to make it a bit healthier:
- Use whole wheat or gluten-free pasta to increase the fiber content.
- Choose lean ground beef or turkey instead of higher-fat options.
- Reduce the amount of cheese used or opt for lower-fat cheese varieties.
- Add more vegetables to the dish to increase the nutritional value.
Baked ziti is a delicious and comforting Italian-American dish that is perfect for a family dinner or a gathering with friends.
With its rich tomato sauce, gooey cheese, and tender pasta, it is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
Whether you stick to the classic recipe or put your own spin on it, baked ziti is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed in many different ways.
Give this easy homemade Italian baked ziti recipe a try and savor the flavors of Italy in your own kitchen.
Want To Get More Traffic To Your Site?
Over 15,763 SEO agencies and brands are using AtOnce to rank higher on Google.
It lets you write hundreds of articles on any topic, giving you more clicks to your site.
Get more traffic and sales — without wasting months of your time.Click Here To Learn More
Easy Homemade Applesauce Egg SubstituteBest Anise Extract Substitutes: Simple Homemade OptionsEasy Asian Pumpkin Recipes: Homemade and Best IdeasEasy Homemade Mini Pizzas in an Air Fryer
What are the ingredients for an authentic Italian baked ziti recipe?
The ingredients for an authentic Italian baked ziti recipe include ziti pasta, tomato sauce, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
How do you make an authentic Italian baked ziti?
To make an authentic Italian baked ziti, cook the ziti pasta according to package instructions, mix together the ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, garlic, salt, and pepper, layer the pasta with the tomato sauce, cheese mixture, and mozzarella cheese, and bake in the oven until bubbly and golden brown.
What is the origin of baked ziti in Italian cuisine?
Baked ziti is a traditional Italian-American dish that originated in the southern regions of Italy. It is a popular comfort food that is often served at family gatherings and special occasions.