Aunt Lulu’s Baked Ziti

My Aunt Lulu always makes baked ziti for our family functions. It is a tradition for everything: Thanksgiving, Christmas, family dinners, you name it. I think part of the reason is we are Italian, but the other reason is that we love it so much. It is simple, but so tasty! I finally asked her for the recipe this past Thanksgiving. I made it as soon as I got home. Next time I need to add more sauce. I was being frugal because I needed to save some for meatballs I made. Oh well. It was still good. I also plan on adding more cheese, which is why I made sure to note the amounts in the recipe below. My aunt’s directions were a bit more “a little of this and a little of that” because she can make it by memory.
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Hopefully this can become a tradition for your families, too! What traditional foods do you always have at every meal? Are you bread people? Rice people? Salad people?

Directions for Aunt Lulu’s Baked Ziti

  • 1 pound cooked ziti
  • 1-2 recipes Tomato sauce, or 2.5 large jars of store-bought
  • 6-8 ounces Mozzarella cheese, chopped into teaspoon-sized pieces
  • 7.5 ounces (half a 15 ounce container) ricotta cheese

In a deep baking dish, 8×8 or a bit larger is fine, you will layer the ingredients. Put a good bit of tomato sauce on the bottom, then a layer of ziti.

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Sprinkle the two cheeses on top. Then add more tomato sauce, more ziti, and more cheese. Set aside some sauce to pour on top while it is cooking (to keep the top from hardening too much).

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If baking immediately, bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes, or until it is bubbling. Check it every so often in case you need to add extra sauce to prevent hardening. If you want to bake it later, you can cover it with saran wrap and foil for up to 24 hours, or freeze for up to 2 months.

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Directions for Aunt Lulu’s Baked Ziti (without pictures)

  • 1 pound cooked ziti
  • 1-2 recipes Tomato sauce, or 2.5 large jars of store-bought
  • 6-8 ounces Mozzarella cheese, chopped into teaspoon-sized pieces
  • 7.5 ounces (half a 15 ounce container) ricotta cheese

In a deep baking dish, 8×8 or a bit larger is fine, you will layer the ingredients. Put a good bit of tomato sauce on the bottom, then a layer of ziti. Sprinkle the two cheeses on top. Then add more tomato sauce, more ziti, and more cheese. Set aside some sauce to pour on top while it is cooking (to keep the top from hardening too much).

If baking immediately, bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes, or until it is bubbling. Check it every so often in case you need to add extra sauce to prevent hardening. If you want to bake it later, you can cover it with saran wrap and foil for up to 24 hours, or freeze for up to 2 months.

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6 thoughts on “Aunt Lulu’s Baked Ziti

  1. There is something so traditional and nostalgic about baked ziti…even for us non-Italians. : ). Looks so simple yet delish. I thought about making baked ziti for my Christmas party but went with bolognese since I can make the sauce ahead. Next time!

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