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5-Minute Baked Ziti

Servings: 6
Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef

Ingredients

  • 1 24 oz jar good-quality marinara sauce
  • 1 15 oz carton part skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 and ½ cup low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth (can substitute water)
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (about 12 oz.)
  • 16 oz uncooked ziti pasta (can substitute penne)
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese (plus extra for serving)

Instructions

  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together marinara sauce and ricotta until smooth. Add broth (or water) and stir until evenly combined. Gently stir in mozzarella and pasta until all of the pasta is evenly coated in sauce. Pour the mixture into a 13x9 inch baking dish and cover with foil. Refrigerate until ready to bake.
  • About an hour before baking the pasta, remove the covered dish from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Bake the pasta, covered, for 50 minutes. Remove the foil and sprinkle the grated parmesan cheese evenly over the top. Turn on the broiler and return the pan to the oven, broiling until the surface of the pasta is slighly crisp and golden and the parmesan cheese is bubbly, about 5 minutes.
  • Serve immediately with extra parmesan cheese for sprinkling over the top.

Notes

After assembling and covering the ziti, it can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours before baking. I pull the dish right out of the fridge and put it directly in the oven before I turn the oven on (this way the dish gets warm slowly and won't shatter from moving directly from a cold fridge to a hot oven).
Because there are so few elements to this ziti, the key is using great quality ingredients. I particularly recommend using a really good sauce!