Baked Ziti Recipe

This dish has all the flavors of traditional Italian ziti, but without all the work, because it uses marinara sauce that was made in advance and frozen.

| Summer 2019

Photo by Getty Images/ALLEKO

Yields 6 servings.


  • 10 ounces uncooked ziti pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or 1⁄2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 3  1/2 cups Freezer Marinara Sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Cook the ziti according to the package directions for al dente. Drain, and return to the pot.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray, and set aside.
  3. Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat. When hot, add the garlic and onion, and cook for 2 minutes, or until the onion is translucent.
  4. Add the sausage, and cook until browned, breaking it into crumbles as it cooks. Add the fennel seeds, paprika, red pepper flakes, onion powder, salt, and pepper, and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  5. Stir in the marinara sauce, water, basil, oregano, and sugar. Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste, and add additional salt and pepper as needed.
  6. Add about 21/2 cups of meat sauce to the pasta, and toss to coat. Transfer to the prepared baking dish. Pour the remaining meat sauce on top, and sprinkle with the cheeses.
  7. Cover the dish with foil, and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil, and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

Discover more delicious, seasonal recipes in Fresh Recipes for Garden Tomatoes:

When she’s not at the Capper’s Farmer offices, editor Traci Smith spends her time cooking, working in the yard and garden, crafting, and relaxing with her dogs, family, and friends.



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