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  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 pounds ziti or other short pasta (such as penne, medium shells or rigatoni)
  • 2 (15-ounce) containers whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella or Provolone cheese


  1. To prepare sauce, heat olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add garlic and cook 1 minute.   Add tomatoes. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes. Add salt, sugar and pepper.
  2. Preheat oven to 350F. Coat a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
  3. Cook ziti about 3 minutes less than the package directions indicate. Drain pasta, reserving ½ cup of cooking water.
  4. Place pasta, ricotta, salt, garlic powder, basil, red pepper flakes, black pepper and half the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese in a large mixing bowl. Stir to mix, diluting with a few spoons of pasta cooking water until creamy. Add tomato sauce and mix. Place in baking dish. Sprinkle top with mozzarella and remaining Parmigiano Reggiano. Cover with foil and bake 30 to 45 minutes, until thoroughly heated. Remove foil during last 10 minutes of cooking time to brown.
Recipe by Amy Sgarro.

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The recipe was originally published as Easy Baked Ziti on

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