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Classic American Baked Ziti

A baked ziti is a classic American dish (with similarities to lasagna and bolognese) that is very simple and very delicious!!

My recipe:

Makes approx 8 bowls


Baked Ziti:

  • 300g ziti (or penne pasta)

  • olive oil (for frying)

  • 3 garlic cloves (minced)

  • 1 small onion (diced)

  • 500g ground beef (or pork)

  • 700g tomato passata

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1 tsp dried basil

  • 1 tsp oregano

  • 1 tsp sugar (use stevia for a healthier dish)

  • 1 cup ricotta

  • 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese

  • 1 cup parmesan cheese (freshly grated)

  • finely chopped parsley (to serve)


  • 2 tsp fennel seeds

  • 1 tbsp paprika

  • chilli flakes (optional - adjust to taste)

  • 2 tsp onion powder

  • salt and pepper (to taste)


  1. Cook ziti/penne for the recommended cooking time on the packet. Drain, then return to pot.

  2. Preheat oven to 180C

  3. Prep: dice onion and mince garlic (use pre-minced garlic for easy prep)

  4. Make Sauce: Heat oil in a large pan over high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until onion is translucent.

  5. Add meat and cook, breaking up the mince as it cooks.

  6. Once the meat is just cooked, add the seasonings and cook for approx 2 mins.

  7. Add the passata, water, basil, oregano and sugar. Bring sauce to simmer, reduce heat and cook for 10 minutes. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.

  8. Pour a cup of sauce into the pot of ziti/pasta

  9. Assemble: Spread the ziti/pasta across the bottom of a baking dish, then dollop ricotta across the ziti. Pour over remaining sauce and top with mozzarella and parmesan.

  10. Bake: Cover the dish loosely with foil. Bake 20 mins. Remove foil and bake for 10-15 mins or until cheese is golden.

  11. Sprinkle with parsley to serve.

  12. Enjoy!!

The Playlist:

  • Cherry Wine - grentperez

  • Somewhere Only We Know - Keane

  • Heart to Heart - Mac DeMarco

  • Cinema - Harry Styles

  • Billie Bossa Nova - Billie Eilish

  • Crazy Little Thing Called Love - Queen

  • Uptown Girl - Billy Joel

  • Falling Behind - Laufey

  • the perfect pair - beabadoobe

  • Sex on Fire - Kings of Leon

  • Friday I'm in Love - The Cure

  • Dream a Little Dream - Laura Fygi

  • Killer Queen - Queen

  • Everybody Wants to Rule the World - Tears for Fears

  • There She Goes - The La's

  • Alright - Supergrass

  • Something - The Beatles

  • Birds Don't Sing - TV Girl

I hope you enjoyed making this dish! (and enjoy the leftovers)

- Maisy xx

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