Baked Zitiwith lemon garlic broccoli
Baked ziti is a weeknight-friendly alternative to lasagna. No fussy lasagna noodles but all the warm, cheesy goodness. A bit of prep and these vegetarian layers of sauce, pasta and cheese come together in a flash.
Smarts: This makes a great freezer meal, so double the recipe and freeze it in a sealed casserole dish.
- Garlic - 2 cloves, crushed or minced
- Shallots (small) - 1 bulb, diced
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Crushed tomatoes (28 oz / 794 g can) - 1 can
- Sugar, brown - 1/2 Tbsp
- Salt - 1/2 tsp
- Black pepper - 1/4 tsp
- Pasta, ziti (sub penne) - 8 oz
- Cheese, parmesan (opt; it’s okay to skip this unless you already have it on hand) - 1/4 cup, grated
- Cheese, fresh mozzarella (or mozzarella "pearls") - 8 oz, cubed
- Cheese, light ricotta - 1 1/2 cup
- Marinara (ingredients listed separately) - ~4 cups
- Garlic - 1 clove, chopped
- Broccoli, florets - 8 oz, chopped
- Water - 2 Tbsp
- Lemon juice - 2 tsp
- Garlic (for both the marinara and broccoli) / Shallots - Prep as directed and combine garlic and shallots for the marinara. Store garlic for the broccoli in a separate container. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Cook pasta - (If prepping right before cooking, turn oven on before continuing with prep.) Bring a large stock pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, tender but not soggy. Drain. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Broccoli / Parmesan / Mozzarella - Prep as directed and store separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Heat oven to 350F (177C) degrees.
- While oven heats place a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add cooking oil and then garlic (the portion for the marinara) and shallots to heated oil. Saute for ~2 minutes and then add crushed tomatoes with brown sugar, salt and black pepper. Reduce heat and simmer for ~4 minutes to let the flavors come together.
- Brush a 8” / 20cm square baker (this is for 4 servings; use a loaf pan if making 2 servings; use a 15” / 38cm rectangular baker if making 8 servings; or use individual ramekins for any number of servings) with some cooking oil.
- Add half the pasta to baking dish with a spoonful of marinara and toss to combine. Top pasta with half the remaining marinara, then half the ricotta and half the mozzarella. Add remaining pasta, marinara, ricotta and mozzarella. Top with parmesan cheese, if using. Transfer to the oven.
- Bake until mozzarella is melted and top is lightly browned, 20 to 25 minutes.
- While pasta bakes, heat a wok or saute pan over medium heat. Add broccoli, garlic (portion for the broccoli) and water to heated pan and cover tightly with a lid or foil. Steam broccoli until tender, 5 to 6 minutes. (Alternatively, steam broccoli and garlic in microwave-safe pan covered with a damp paper towel, 2 ½ to 3 minutes on high.)
- Season broccoli with lemon juice and some salt and pepper.
- When pasta is finished cooking, serve it with broccoli on the side. Enjoy!
This meal has 52 reviews
For some reason my sauce came out very watery, probably should have pureed my home canned tomatoes.
Sub cottage cheese for ricotta
Used a jar of spicy sauce with the can of diced tomatoes and added fresh basil. I also added an egg, pepper and Italian seasoning to the ricotta cheese.
My noodles seemed a bit overcooked.
So so so boring. I added Italian seasoning, used fire roasted tomatoes, and added an egg to the ricotta. Broiled the dish for the last couple of minutes, which browned it nicely. It wasn't dry or anything. Just boring. Would add spicy Italian sausage, or just skip this recipe altogether next time.
Instead of crushed tomatoes I used a combo of two prepared sauces, one of which was quite spicy. This added the flavor that other reviews said was missing.