Baked Ziti

I had a little difference of opinion with my wife in regards to this recipe. She felt that baked ziti should have ricotta cheese in it and I did not agree. We decide to go straight to the source and called my father. He said that he does not normally put ricotta in but when it is included the dish is designated Sorrentino. So there you have it; if you wish, add the optional ricotta and make Baked Ziti Sorrentino.

Prep time: 10 min | Cook time: 30 min | Total time: 40 min

Serves 4-6

1 pound of ziti pasta
4 cups marinara sauce
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, chopped or shredded
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 pound ricotta cheese (optional)

  1. Bring a pot of liberally salted water to a boil, add pasta and cook until almost al dente then strain, the pasta should be slightly undercooked.
  2. Preheat oven to 375°F. Transfer pasta to a 3 to 4 quart baking dish. Add 2 cups of marinara sauce, 4 ounces of mozzarella, and 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (if using the optional ricotta cheese add it all at this point also), and toss until well combined.
  3. Top with the remaining sauce and sprinkle on the remaining cheeses. Place the baking dish in the oven and bake until the cheese on top is melted and slightly browned, 15-20 minutes.