When I worked at Olive Garden, Five Cheese Ziti al Forno was my most common meal choice. I LOVE a good, cheesy, baked ziti pasta (al forno means from the oven in Italian). This recipe pays homage to that dish and is the one I made up the first time I had my in-laws over for dinner! It’s easy, simple, dirties only one bowl, and makes a ton of food that reheats beautifully for lunches. My husband and children ask for it all the time!
This baked ziti pasta is one of my favorite meals to bring to a friend who just had a baby, or to someone who is sick and in need of a dinner. I like to put it in a disposable pan (so they don’t have to worry about returning one of mine), add a bagged Caesar salad, and a loaf of bread. Easy for you and delicious for them. Baked ziti also is great to double and make one pan for dinner that night and one for the freezer. You will be so glad you did on a busy night when you can put a homemade pan of pasta in the oven!
Ziti al Forno Pasta Recipe
Ziti al Forno Recipe
- 1 lb. pasta (ziti, penne, rigatoni or similar)
- 24 oz. ricotta cheese
- 1 lb. shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 egg beaten
- 1 24 oz. jar spaghetti sauce
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente; drain and set aside.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large bowl, mix pasta, ricotta cheese, half of the mozzarella cheese, egg, and half of the jar of spaghetti sauce.
Lightly grease a 9x13 pan and spoon in pasta mixture. Top with remaining spaghetti sauce, followed by the parmesan cheese and the rest of the mozzarella.
Bake for 25 minutes, then turn on the broiler. Cook 5 minutes more to get that nice, browned, cheesy crust on top.