Baked Ziti

I am a huge fan of Olive Garden’s Alfredo sauce. So every time we go there, I order the same thing. Seriously though, I cannot stand jarred Alfredo sauce… and I’ve tried a few! Of course, everyone has their own taste… but I’m getting off topic. So one day not too long ago, my wife took me out to eat at our local Olive Garden. She is always telling me to try something new, so I decided to skip the Alfredo this time.

I ordered baked ziti instead. (Something I have never tried before).

Let me tell you….. It was AMAZING!

My wife doesn’t really like to try the food that I order but I asked her to try it….. surprisingly, she did!

Her response: “It’s like macaroni and cheese.”

And it clicked! Adult macaroni and cheese?!  YES PLEASE! 🙂

However, this is far better than macaroni and cheese! (something I used to love as a kid by the way!)

So of course, me being me, I have to find a recipe for this heavenly meal! And today I’d like to share it with you!

Here’s what you will need:

  • A baking dish
  • Mixing bowl
  • 1 box of ziti pasta
  • 24 oz marinara sauce
  • 15 oz Alfredo sauce (if you like the jar, just use one – if not, I have a great recipe I’ll share later)
  • 2 c. shredded mozzarella
  • 1 c. shredded parmesan
  • An empty stomach – trust me this is a large dish! Not to mention (again) super delicious!

I made this for my wife and myself for dinner and we had enough for lunch the next day for ourselves and my 3 coworkers plus extra! (This could easily feed a family of 8!)

So… first things first, oven set to 350.

Now boil the pasta! (according to the directions on the box).

Meanwhile, in your mixing bowl, mix together the pasta sauces and cheese.

Drain the pasta and add it to the mixed sauce and cheese.

Here’s what mine looked like….

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Next, pour the mixture into a baking dish, put it in the oven, and relax for about 25-30 minutes! (who am I kidding, relax?!)

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Anywho…. let the deliciousness bake…..

After the 25-30 minutes, take out the dish and top with parmesan cheese and bake for another 5 minutes or so (until the cheese is melted to your desire). I used Frigo brand shredded parmesan cheese – its in a plastic tupperware (sort of) container. And the top was crunchy, I think in the future I would try another type and see how it goes. It wasn’t bad at all though!

Here’s what it looked like when I took it out…..

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We added some garlic knots on the side and enjoyed this easy and delicious dinner on our fine china! Hope you enjoy it too!

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P.s. I gave my sister the recipe and she tried it for her family, but they added cooked sausage in the mix…. they all said it was great. So try the recipe as is, or go crazy and throw in your own additions!

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