Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Baked Ziti

I love baked ziti. In my opinion, it's basically the epitome of comfort food. I also love mascarpone cheese. So, as I was sitting at home watching the rain turn into snow and the wind steadily get stronger, I was inspired to make a baked ziti with mascarpone.

I think I struck gold with this one - it was absolutely delicious and I would make it again in a heartbeat - though, I probably would make a smaller batch because I ended up with enough food to feed an army. It's smooth and creamy, and the flavors combine wonderfully. In fact, we liked it so much that I have decided to submit it to this week's Presto Pasta Nights, sponsored by Ruth at Once Upon a Feast, and hosted this week by one of my favorite blogs, Ben at What's Cooking.

I hope you enjoy it!

Baked Ziti with Mascarpone Cheese
Serves 8-ish

Prep Time - 5-10 min

Cook Time - 40 min

1 lb ziti pasta
1 (26 oz) jar spaghetti sauce
1/4 lb ground beef
1/4 lb Italian sausage
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz mascarpone cheese
1 cup sour cream
1-2 cups Mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta to al dente. Drain & set aside.

Meanwhile, brown ground beef & Italian sausage with onion & garlic. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Add marinara sauce to the pan and simmer for about 10 minutes. Thin the sauce just a tad with about 1/8 cup water or chicken stock. Season the sauce with garlic & herbs, to taste.

In a large bowl, combine mascarpone cheese, sour cream, and cooked pasta.

Layer the pasta, sauce and cheese in a large greased casserole dish as follows:
  • 1/2 pasta
  • 1/2 sauce
  • 1/2 cheese
  • remaining pasta
  • remaining sauce
  • remaining cheese
Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and top with Parmesan cheese and bake for an additional 5 minutes. Let sit for about 10 minutes before serving.


Ben said...

Isn't the snow and cold temperatures a great inspiration for baking? LOL. Well, maybe not, but you did a great job with this dish. Thanks a lot for sharing it with us! :)

Ruth Daniels said...

Probably the only thing I like about winter...baked pasta. And your's looks awesome. Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights.

Joanne said...

My mom used to make baked ziti for us as kids since I had an aversion to tomato sauce without ricotta. She hasn't made it in awhile but I've been missing it. Thanks for the recipe!

Michele said...

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog! I was so delighted to see these Italian recipes on yours! Don't worry about making too much baked ziti, it freezes very well, just make sure you freeze some sauce seperately!

The Food Hunter said...

I love baked ziti. Yours looks delicious.

Snooky doodle said...


Donna-FFW said...

Just stumbled upon your blog. You are loaded with good stuff. This looks wonderful, never thought of using marscapone. Must be delicious!

Cat said...

The Baked Ziti looks wonderful but BLOG ABOUT THE "TOASTY" FROM IRELAND!! ....i miss it sooooo much with a bowl of cream of vegetable soup.... :-)

Nicole said...

Sounds delicious to me! Love a creamy or cheesy pasta!

Le Bleu Bonnet Boutique said...

Ummmmm!!! I gave your Baked Ziti and Swedish Meatball recipes a try and both were so yummy!!! Just wanted to thank you for sharing your recipes!!! I cannot wait to see whats for dinner next!!

test it comm said...

That looks so cheesy and good!

Unknown said...


Jackie said...


Season sauce with garlic and herbs? Is that fresh garlic or powdered garlic? how much. Herbs? What kind and how much.