with 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!
Loved the idea, nice weeknight meal. but it was a little bland. I should have added a little Italian seasoning.0 Helpful
I used crushed tomatoes w/ basil and olive oil; bought romano/parmesan blend and let it get crispy on top. Really great!0 Helpful
Needs a little work, but a good dish0 Helpful
Easy and yummy for everyone. Sauce required way more spices though, probably should have skipped the sugar like previous comments. Added basil and a bit or oregano and extra pepper. Tearing up, rather than cutting, the mozzarella makes it melt easier too - or seems that way.0 Helpful
Might not look best in picture, but it sure was tasty. Very easy to put together. Husband thinks it would taste better with some sausages or ground meat. But I enjoyed the vegetarian version just fine. We also like the lemon garlic broccoli a lot.0 Helpful
I used the whole box of pasta, added Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes to the sauce and 1 egg to the ricotta. This was really cheesy and delicious.0 Helpful