Baked ziti is a lazy man's lasagna. This one pulls from the flavors of pasta primavera (with all of those spring veggies) and pairs with a white cheese sauce. It's super comforting and fantastic for a crowd.
Course Main Course
Keyword Casserole, Dinner, Pasta, Vegetarian
2lbsziticooked until al dente
1 tbspolive oil
1 mediumoniondiced small
2smallsummer squashdiced small
2 smallzucchinidiced small
1cupfrozen spinachthawed and drained well
128 oz canpetite diced tomatoesdrained
t tbspfresh thymechopped
½cupfresh basiltorn into small pieces
1quartmilk use 1%, 2%, or whole
½cupaged Provolone cheesegrated
1 ½ cupricotta cheesepart-skim or whole
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Preheat non stick pan with olive oil over medium heat. Saute half of the onion and half of the garlic for 2 minutes or until translucent. Add the summer squash and zucchini and saute for about 5 minutes until cooked through. Add thyme, diced tomatoes, and spinach. Toss together, add salt and pepper to taste, and set aside.
To create the cream sauce, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the remaining onion and garlic to the butter and cook for two minutes. Whisk in the flour and cook for a few minutes. Whisk in the milk. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. The sauce will start to thicken (it should be able to coat the back of a spoon.) Stir in Parmesan and provolone cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste.
In a large bowl (or the empty pot you boiled the pasta in), mix the cooked ziti with the vegetable mixture. Add the basil. Add the cheese sauce and stir to coat.
In a large casserole dish, layer half the pasta, then half the ricotta, then half the mozzarella. Repeat.
Cover with foil and bake at 375 for 45 minutes or until the center of the baked ziti is 165. Remove the foil for the last 10 minutes to brown the top of the ziti.