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Baked Ziti with Crunchy Italian Salad and Garlic Bread

The classic Italian supper comes together remarkably quickly -- garlic bread bakes alongside the ziti, and a green salad is tossed in mere minutes.

  • prep: 20 mins
    total time: 40 mins
  • servings: 4
Photography: José Manuel Picayo Rivera

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Ingredients

  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 8 ounces ziti rigate (ridged) or other short pasta
  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella
  • 1 jar (24 to 26 ounces) best-quality tomato sauce (about 3 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 loaf Italian bread (5 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar or red-wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 head Belgian endive, stem end trimmed, thinly sliced
  • 2 bunches arugula (3 1/2 ounces total), thick stems removed

Directions

  1. Step 1

    Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente, according to package instructions; drain and reserve.

  2. Step 2

    In a small bowl, combine ricotta, egg, 1/4 cup Parmesan, and half the mozzarella; season with salt and pepper.

  3. Step 3

    In the bottom of a shallow 2-quart casserole dish, spread half the tomato sauce. Top with ziti, then ricotta mixture and remaining sauce. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan and remaining mozzarella. Place casserole on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake until top is browned and sauce is bubbling, 20 to 25 minutes.

  4. Step 4

    Meanwhile, prepare garlic bread: Make deep, even cuts into the bread, about 1/2 inch apart, without cutting through the bottom. In a small bowl, combine butter and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Brush garlic butter between cuts in bread. Wrap bread loosely in aluminum foil, and bake with ziti during last 10 minutes of baking.

  5. Step 5

    In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar and oil; season with salt and pepper. Add endive and arugula, and toss to coat. Serve baked ziti with salad and garlic bread.

Source
Everyday Food, October 2007

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Reviews (34)

  • sly203 27 Feb, 2014

    This is the best ziti recipe I have ever had. Super easy, too! I added cooked ground hamburger to my sauce as well. Excellent dish!

  • humus 19 Sep, 2013

    This is my go to dish when I need something in a hurry but taste delicious! I would love to be able to print the food photo along with the recipe. Thanks for this great dish.

  • Danush 9 Oct, 2012

    This recipe is delish!!!! I also add chicken sausage to it.

  • bonniefollett 9 Jul, 2011

    delicious,i added hamburger in it also

  • CalgarySJ 3 Jul, 2011

    Really easy and really delicious!! I added frozen choppen spinach to the cheese mixture and sauteed garlic and onion to my jarred pasta sauce. Will definitely make again!

  • pattipoopidoo 11 Apr, 2011

    Perfect -- easy, quick, and delicious. This is a go-to of mine for when I don't have a lot of time but want a nice Sunday dinner.

  • myke828 10 Nov, 2010

    Really an ideal recipe for large groups and/or freezing individual meals for the week. Most easiest tastiest baked ziti I've made! Not to say that I have made a lot.

  • briarpatchwoods 16 Oct, 2010

    Made this just as the recipe calls for - we love it. What an easy meal to prepare. Good for company. Freezes well, too.

  • NicoleTallent-Smith 22 Jul, 2009

    Excellent recipe-I added Italian seasoned ground turkey sausage to the sauce (my husband wanted meat in it, but the turkey kept it lean!) My 5 year old loved it!

  • bonniefollett 7 May, 2009

    i love this recipe but i also add hamburger to it

  • Tryingsomethingnew 14 Feb, 2009

    I love this recipe. I make it at least once a week. I find it's better to have the bottom layer be pasta, not sauce, as the sauce burns pretty bad.

  • detroiterchick 3 Feb, 2009

    This is a great recipe. I typically add a little extra sauce. Also, I rarely freeze anything, as I am always worried it will sacrifice taste, or texture when defrosting and cooking - but this meal froze very well and tasted as fresh as the day I made it. !

  • girlnextdoor 26 Jan, 2009

    My sister just called and asked me for this recipe the other day-all of our kids love it. I found it a little lacking in flavour the first time I made it so now I substitute an organic pizza/pasta sauce that has a lot more flavour to it than regular tomato sauce and that has definitely helped to improve the taste.

  • skinfanatic 13 Jan, 2009

    the vodka sauce is a great idea- we'll try that next time. We added frozen spinich and grilled chicken- the whole family loved it.

    GwenHex- i think you will do fine to use regular table salt, but kosher salt does have a better taste (in my opinion)- it's good in all cooking.

  • GwenHex 5 Jan, 2009

    this sounds and looks good--and healthy, but do i NEED coarse salt?

  • anglyn 28 Dec, 2008

    I make this all the time at home. We love it. :)

  • missy33 5 Nov, 2008

    I agree with krisx2, use an entire box of ziti and increase the mozzarella a bit, put it in a 9 x 13 pan and you have several meals!!! Fabulous!

  • krisx2 4 Nov, 2008

    This was SO good! The recipe calls for 8 ozs pasta which is 1/2 box. If you think your family will eat more than that, you can use 3/4 to the whole 16 oz box since the recipe makes a lot of sauce (just use a larger casserole dish). We will definitely be making this again. It was so easy and the whole family loved it.

  • TarynT 4 Nov, 2008

    I just made the Baked Ziti and it's SO easy and yummy! My husband and mom absolutely loved it. I used Trader Joe's Tomato

  • musicbarbi 26 Oct, 2008

    I used the recipe builder on Weight Watcher E tools and the Ziti recipe alone was 10 points per serving. Didn't check the rest of the recipe. This was also using lowfat cheeses.

  • Tryingsomethingnew 23 Oct, 2008

    This was great! I recommend leaving it in the oven longer. About a hour is perfection.

  • Lyndalu1 22 Oct, 2008

    I agree about the nutritional information for the web site recipes. I am a Weight Watcher and need this information to help decide if it is right for me !

  • pattipoopidoo 30 Sep, 2008

    This is so simple but so delicious! My kids love when I make this, and so do I because it comes together so easily. The garlic bread is perfect every time, too..

  • recipemaniac 12 Sep, 2008

    The baked ziti is delicious, easy, and loved by the whole family. I'm usually so impressed with these recipes, and this one was no exception.

  • workingbetty 1 Sep, 2008

    I am diabetic and would love to see the nutrition break down with your recipes. This sound out-of-site, but need to know if it fits in my diet or what I might be able to do to make it fit.

  • ktcarter 8 Jul, 2008

    We loved the baked Ziti! My husband thought it would be great with italian sausage in it. We'll try it that way next!

  • Junecutie 30 May, 2008

    I made the Baked Ziti yesterday morning, put it in the fridge, and reheated forsupper last nignt. My husband loved it !!! {He's very particular when it comes to past and sauce.} I used Luchini Roasted Tomato w/Basil Sauce, but I added browned ground beef, onions, and garlic. I also had 3/4 cup mascarpone I needed to use up, and I mixed it with 1/2cup ricotta. It was beyond YUMMY! Next wife will have to go some to beat this! LOL

  • angelahiggins 7 Apr, 2008

    very easy, quick meal to make that was a hit with my family. even those that turn their nose up to ricotta came back for seconds!

  • humus 1 Apr, 2008

    This is one of our favorite dishes! I forgot to buy ricotta and just happened to have mascarpone cheese, so I used it. I am so glad I forgot the ricotta because it is awesome with the mascarpone and that is what I always use to make it with now. I used the whole wheat pasta and Newman's Own Tomato

  • chopsuzyll 24 Mar, 2008

    This is one of my boyfriend's favorites! It's even delicious with whole wheat noodles.

  • nancysdaffs 15 Feb, 2008

    My husband enjoyed this recipe, however when I added small meatballs to the dish before baking, this put it over the top for him. This is my 'thank-goodness'' recipe when we have unexpected company. Quick and Delicious!

  • lcrook 22 Jan, 2008

    my family loved this! If you can find De Lallo brand Vodka sauce at your grocery store in the specialty section...by all means get it! I always make my own sauce, but in a pinch this sauce is the best jarred I have had. Using a crummy store bought sauce will ruin a good recipe.

  • meganrachel 20 Jan, 2008

    I made this with a chunky style pasta sauce with veggies (zucchini, carrots, etc). It was delicious. Will definately make again.

  • frogwoman 11 Jan, 2008

    My Family and I love Baked Ziti! I am going o make this with the salad next time. I usually just make a blah spinach salad. This should pick up my dinner a bit! :)