1. Ziti -
Penne and ziti are the same shape, but ziti is smooth whereas penne has ridges. If you can't find Ziti, use penne or other pastas of similar shape such as rigatoni, spirals or even macaroni.
- My favourite is 50/50 beef and pork (used in video) but I usually make this with all beef or all pork.
3. Tomato passata
is called Tomato Puree in America. It is just plain, pureed tomato. It is NOT tomato paste which is sour, concentrated tomato. It creates a thicker smoother sauce than using crushed canned tomatoes. In Australia it's available in supermarkets in the pasta section and the good value ones are cheaper than canned tomato.
Use 800g/28oz can crushed tomato + 2 tbsp tomato paste. Or use a blender to puree canned tomatoes, or you use store bought plain pasta sauce (Marinara) instead or
what's called Tomato Sauce in America (which is passata with a small amount of seasonings).
4. Ricotta -
optional. For a try Baked Ziti experience the classic American way, include it!Ensure you use a creamy ricotta not dry crumbly one. If crumbly, make it creamier using milk or cream.
is an essential seasoning in real Italian sausages. If you don't like it / have it, this can be skipped.
6. Make ahead / storage:
The best way is to cook the pasta, toss in a bit of oil then let it cool. Cook sauce then cool covered. Then assemble per recipe, stop with cheese, refrigerate or freeze. If frozen, defrost for 24 hours in the fridge. Then bake for around 30 - 35 minutes, being 25 minutes covered and 10 minutes uncovered (takes a bit longer when cooked from cold).
Recipe originally published April 2016. Updated with recipe video, a better layering order and added ricotta.
Amount Per Serving (364 g)
Calories from Fat 189
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 21g
Saturated Fat 10g
Total Carbohydrates 51g
Dietary Fiber 4g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.