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Over-the-Top Baked Ziti Recipe

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I adapted a ziti recipe to remove ingredients my kids did not like, such as ground beef, garlic and onions. The revised recipe was not only a success with my family, but a potlucks, too. It is also very versatile. You can use jarred sauce, double or triple the recipe and it freezes well. —Kimberley Pitman, Smyrna, Delaware Field Editor
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. + simmering Bake: 20 min.
MAKES:8 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. + simmering Bake: 20 min.
MAKES: 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cans (29 ounces each) tomato puree
  • 1 can (12 ounces) tomato paste
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • ZITI:
  • 1 package (16 ounces) ziti
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 carton (15 ounces) reduced-fat ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Directions

  1. In a 3- or 4-qt. slow cooker, combine the first ten ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours.
  2. Cook ziti according to package directions. In a large bowl, combine the egg, ricotta cheese, 1 cup mozzarella, Parmesan, parsley, salt, pepper and 5 cups sauce. Drain ziti; stir into cheese mixture.
  3. Transfer to a 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Pour remaining sauce over the top; sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly. Yield: 8 servings.
Originally published as Over-the-Top Baked Ziti in Taste of Home Fall 2012

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