Celebrate Friday with a Five-Cheese Ziti Bake

Do you realize it’s been over a year since I last shared a recipe utilizing Ziti Pasta? I say that’s too long between recipe.

One of my favorite places to eat is Olive Garden. I know, it sounds crazy, but I like their food. I especially like the big portions, because that means plenty of doggie bags for later in the week. I adore their endless salad and soft breadsticks. And Olive Garden is a great place for inspiration. Once upon a time, you could actually go to their website to get Olive Garden recipes. I thought that was a smart idea, but I guess with all the copy cat recipes floating about, they decided to stop publishing their kitchen-tested recipes. Too bad.

Guess you can throw my recipe into the Copy-Cat Mix. It is so creamy delicious. You could make the sauce and cheese blend in the morning, then cook the pasta and bake the casserole that night. You can even put it all together, have casserole will travel and take it to a family gathering. This really is an all-around delicious dish.

Five-Cheese Ziti Bake
Ziti Bake Sauce
4 cups Tomato Sauce
2 cups Alfredo Sauce
1/2 cup Ricotta Cheese
1/4 cup Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
3 tablespoons Fontana Cheese, shredded
1 teaspoon Garlic Pepper Seasoning
1/2 teaspoon Roasted Garlic Powder

Combining all ingredients for the Ziti Sauce in a large bowl; cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Ziti Bake Topping
3 cups Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
1/2 cup Italian Breadcrumbs
3 tablespoons Romano Cheese, grated
3 tablespoons Parmesan Cheese, grated
2 Garlic Cloves, chopped
3 tablespoons Italian Parsley, chopped
3 tablespoons Vegetable Oil

In a medium-size bowl, whisk together mozzarella cheese, breadcrumbs, Romano and Parmesan cheeses. Mince the garlic and parsley. Add to the cheese mixture along with the oil. Mix until thoroughly blended. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Ziti Bake Pasta
1 lb dry Ziti Pasta
1 cup Mozzarella Cheese, shredded

Cook pasta in a large pot of well salted boiling water according to package directions, about 10 minutes.

To Assemble and Bake: While the pasta is cooking, heat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 13-by-9-inch baking dish or large casserole with non-stick spray.  Pour 1/2 cup of prepared Ziti sauce into the prepared dish, and spread it evenly over the bottom using a spoon. Set aside.

When pasta has finished cooking, drain the water and pour the hot pasta into the bowl of remaining sauce. Mix thoroughly; pour into the baking dish.

Spread 1 cup of shredded mozzarella over the pasta and sauce mixture. Top the mozzarella with the prepared Ziti Topping, spreading evenly.

Place pan on center oven rack and bake until top is golden brown and cheese is bubbling, about 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven and serve immediately.

Author: Rosemarie's Kitchen

I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and avid home cook.I believe in eating healthy whenever possible, while still managing to indulge in life's pleasures.

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