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Baked Ziti

Easy to make and so very tasty. It is a very colorful dish. It is one of those go to foods, that you know will be pleasing to your family or guests. This dish is great in cold weather It is a hearty and stick too your ribs kind of dish. I make this all year, regardless of the weather.
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 6 people


  • 1 lb. box of ziti
  • 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1-1/2 lbs. ground beef turkey can be subsituted
  • 1/2 small chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 15 ounce container of Ricotta cheese whole milk or skim
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 16 ounces Mozzarella cheese sliced thin
  • 3+ tbsp. olive oil plus more for drizziling
  • 1/2 tsp. dried parsley flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil leaves


  1. In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Follow directions on box of ziti and cook pasta. Remember this will be going into the oven, so it can be a little under cooked. Drain and add a little oil to keep the ziti from sticking to each other. Set aside.
  2. In large skillet on medium-high heat, heat 3 tbsp. olive oil. Add onions and garlic. Stir and when slightly browned add ground beef. Brown beef. Add crushed tomatoes and basil. Stir. Cook on low to medium heat for about 10 minutes. Set aside
  3. In a medium bowl, combine ricotta cheese, egg, salt, pepper and parsley flakes. Mix. Set aside.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Drain ziti and put in a large bowl. Add the meat sauce and ricotta cheese mixture and gently combine. Pour into a 9.5 by 15.5 baking dish. Put mozzarella cheese on top and drizzle some olive oil over the cheese. Bake uncovered until cheese melts, about 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for about 5 minutes before serving.