Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Baked Ziti The Way Grandma Made It



Old fashioned homemade baked ziti is a comfort food that brings back great memories of family get togethers! Although there are as many baked ziti recipes as there are grandmas, this recipe is the one I always use. It is easy, requiring only 5 basic ingredients and it's a real crowd pleaser. In addition, it freezes beautifully ( before or after baking) , and is absolutely lip smacking either way!

Do you have to be Italian to love baked ziti? No, it seems like everyone loves it, so it's a perfect recipe to make for company. I only make it when my daughter- in -law Jackie visits because she is a pasta lover. Of course once it's made, everyone else enjoys it too!

The recipe is so simple and basic, I never thought of posting it before. However, when I looked through my cookbooks, I couldn't find a recipe for baked ziti. So, I decided to make it easy on myself and record my recipe right on my blog. Of course I found hundreds online, but they where not as simple as grandma's recipe.

So, if you like baked ziti, or are looking for a dish to make for a crowd- this is it! Now you know where to find the recipe ( and so do I) . Of course I used gluten free penne which is available at Trader Joe's for $1.99 a bag or available now in most supermarkets!

I don't make recipes with this much cheese and eggs very often and truthfully, I didn't really eat it myself!!  My husband and kids loved it and so did my other company. So, If you eat and like cheese and eggs- Enjoy! It's so easy to make.. and lends itself so well to gluten free eating too.

ricotta cheese mixture

I combine the ricotta cheese mixture, some sauce and  the cooked penne noodles before layering it 

I divided the baked ziti into two deep baking dishes. 
Start to layer the sauce, pasta, cheese mixture, repeat in each baking dish


Author: Judee Algazi @ Gluten Free A-Z Blog
Prep Time: 10minutes
Cook Time : 20 minutes for the noodles
Bake Time: 55 minutes


Ingredients: 
1 pound box of gluten free penne 
1 15 ounce jar of your favorite marinara sauce ( I use BJ's brand bc no added sugar) 
1/4 cup of chopped fresh parsley
15 ounce container of ricotta cheese
2 eggs, beaten ( might be able to leave these out if you don't eat eggs like my friend Vicki)
1 bag of Italian shredded cheese combination
1/2 cup of shredded or freshly grated parmesan cheese 

Directions
Boil the penne according to the instructions, drain, rinse and set aside
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a large mixing bowl, mix eggs, parsley, ricotta cheese, 1 cup of sauce and 1/2 bag of the cheese and 1/4 cup of parmesan.
Mix with the cooked penne.
Pour 1/4 cup each of sauce over the bottom of 2 deep baking dishes. Add a layer of noodle mixture, some sauce, noodle mixture, some sauce and the additional cheese. 
Bake for 55 minutes

My notes: 
  1. You could probably leave out the eggs in this recipe and it would still be good.
  2. This is a crowd pleaser
  3. If you prefer not to use any grain, you could spiralize zucchini in place of the pasta and bake-
  4. Can you make this without the eggs????

58 comments:

  1. Hi Judee, Sounds & looks delicious! I have a Baked Ziti recipe from years ago from a co-worker who was Italian and her recipe was similar to yours but without eggs, so I'm sure it's fine to leave them out. I always enjoyed the recipe because it was easy and delicious! Blessings, Janet

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    1. Glad to hear about leaving out the eggs. Thanks

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    2. I've never tried this, though very similar to mac'n cheese. Looking forward to making it!

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  2. This look amazing, Judee! Thanks so much for sharing :)

    Blessings,
    Edye | Http://gracefulcoffee.wordpress.com

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  3. This brings back so many memories, Judee! Baked ziti was the very first dish I learned to make as a married woman. I haven't made it since going gluten free, and it would be so easy to veganize it too! Thanks for the reminder!!

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    Replies
    1. WE've come a long way baby! vegan baked ziti....

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  4. Replies
    1. Sarah,
      I appreciate you stopping by and leaving a comment. Looking forward to visiting you.

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  5. What a cool idea to combine the ricotta mixture so you don't get globs of ricotta and then bites with no ricotta!

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    Replies
    1. I know! It's really mixed well and tastes evenly distributed

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  6. Looks super yummy! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

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    Replies
    1. my pleasure and I will be back next week..

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  7. What a simple and wonderful zita! Looks delicious!

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    Replies
    1. thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. It looks just like grandma made it!

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  8. I love baked ziti! This post has made me want some! Now I have to go the store and get the ingredients. LOL! I know what I'm having for dinner! Popping over from #waywow

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    Replies
    1. You won't be sorry! It's easy and delicious.

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  9. I have been wanting a recipe for this . . . every time we watch a movie where Italians are eating ziti, I think to myself, you have got to try this . . . thank you for the recipe :)

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    Replies
    1. I know, everytime I go to make it, I couldn't find the recipe. It's posted for that reason

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  10. Born and raised American Italian girl and mama cooked from the Old Country, like her mom and grandmom and for those who came before. Never used eggs. Also, if you have an Italian specialty store, called a latticini, where they sell the cheeses and cold cuts. try "ricottone". It is a much lower fat ricotta cheese but still creamy and delicious.

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    Replies
    1. so glad to know that about the eggs! I'll be on the lookout for the latticini too...we are not that far from the Philadelphia Italian market

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  11. Looks delicious! Grandma always makes it best!
    Michelle

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    1. Michelle,
      Things always do taste best at Grandmas house! And now I'm the grandma!!!

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  12. Replies
    1. So sorry. I use a 8 ounce bag of shredded cheese plus the 1/2 cup of parmesan! I'll fix it in the recipe. Thanks.

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  13. I love how easy and delicious this sounds! Thanks for sharing! :)

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    Replies
    1. That is why I like it too. It is easy and really delicious. I was thinking about cutting down some of the pasta and adding zucchini. I might try that for next time..

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  14. I haven't had a good cheesy pasta dish in a long time. This ziti looks so good. And it has all the right ingredients! Thanks for sharing with #overthemoon!

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    1. Hi Cathy,
      There is something about a cheesy pasta dish that is in a league all it's own.

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  15. Replies
    1. My pleasure and I will be back next week!

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  16. I am gluten free, and I love pasta. This sounds like a great dish that we could make and have leftovers for lunch or dinner the next day too. Those are my favorite kind of recipes. And of course those that are based off of the older recipes. I really loved it when my grandmother's would whip up dinner for us. This will bring back some memories of a great time in my life. I have pinned and yummed, I will be making this. Thank you so much.

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    Replies
    1. I ended up freezing some for another day in individual portions. They defrost quickly.

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  17. This looks so yummy! Thanks for linking up with Idea Box.

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  18. Visiting from Rattlebridge Farm, this looks really good. Very similar to my gran's recipe too, she didn't use eggs either.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the comment about the eggs; good to know..

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  19. This looks SO good - I'm not sure I can handle that much cheese (sad!), but my husband would love this. Thanks for sharing with Simply Natural Saturdays!

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    Replies
    1. I know it is a lot of cheese, but try it with less !

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  20. Congratulations!
    Your recipe is featured on Full Plate Thursday. Hope you enjoy your new Red Plate and have a great week!
    Miz Helen

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    1. My goodness! Grandma would be proud! Very excited to be featured Miz Helen.. thank you

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  21. Looks delicious- popping over from delicious Dish Tuesday. Looks like the ultimate comfort food. Never had baked ziti before. You just don't see it on menus over here. Would love to give this a go!

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    1. I hope you will give this a try. It is delicious and worth it. Where are you from?

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  22. This looks and sounds so delicious! Pinned.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for pinning this recipe- I love the extra visibility. I hope you try the recipe

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  23. Pinning from the Country Fair Blog Party Link up and making for my hubby's birthday party this friday night! Thanks for sharing!

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  24. Congratulations Judee! This was the most clicked on post from the September Country Fair Blog Party! http://www.cornbeanspigskids.com/2016/10/country-fair-blog-party-october-2016.html. I hope to see you link-up again this month :)

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    1. Thank you so much for letting me know!!

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  25. I love baked Ziti! so delicious. Its a close second only to lasagna! I love that it can be gluten free that easy. I have so many digestive issues. (https://www.drlam.com/blog/healthy-microbiome-adrenal-fatigue-part-1/21862/) I found info on why I have some of them at this site. I dont like to eat like im defective. this type of rich and delicious food sounds amazing!

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    1. Yes, gluten free options are very easy now especially since GF pasta come in so many shapes and sizes

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  26. That looks delicious!! I need to add this to my list of things to make.

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    1. I know that you will enjoy this basic wonderful Italian baked ziti

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  27. Oh, baked Ziti is the best! Thanks for sharing at Home Sweet Home!

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    1. I agree- everyone seems to like a big plate of piping hot baked ziti

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  28. Love baked ziti! Thanks for sharing your recipe with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

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    1. It seems to be unanimous! Everyone says they love it..

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  29. Judee, your Grandma's Baked Ziti is indeed is comfort food and welcome for the autumnal and wintry season. I will try to remember the recipe to make at home as it seems a breeze to make esp. if you get ready made marinara, but i would probably make my own as shop ones are sugar laden.

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    1. Hi Shaheen,
      I think you will find the recipe to your pleasing, and I agree about the marinara sauce. Actually, I found a sauce at BJ's that has no added sugars of any kind. I believe it's their brand, Wellsley Farms, and it has only tomatoes, onions, olive oil, salt, garlic, basil, spices. The carb content is 6 and the sugar content is 4- which is probably from the tomatoes. I really like it!! thanks so much for stopping by and thanks for your comment.

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