Simple from Scratch Baked Ziti

A quick, warm, baked ziti dinner with a simple sauce and no shortage of cheese.


  • 2 tsp olive oil extra virgin
  • 2 tsp garlic minced
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper
  • 2 15-ounce cans tomato sauce
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp basil dried
  • 1 pound dried ziti, rigatoni or penne
  • ½ cup fontina shredded
  • ¼ cup parmesan grated
  • ½ cup mozzarella cubed, divided
  • 1 cup mozzarella shredded
  • ⅛ cup parmesan shredded
  • basil fresh


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and crushed red pepper, stirring until garlic is fragrant, 1-2 minutes.

3. Add sauce, kosher salt, black pepper, and dried basil. Stir to combine and simmer over low-medium heat while you make the pasta.

4. Cook pasta until slightly shy of al dente (as it will continue to cook in the oven). Drain pasta and return to pot.

5. Add fontina and grated parmesan to sauce, stirring to combine. Add pasta and stir liberally to ensure sauce is evenly distributed.

6. Lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish. Pour half of pasta into dish, then add half of cubed mozzarella, spreading evenly over pasta. Repeat with other half of pasta and mozzarella.

7. Top with shredded mozzarella and parmesan, and sprinkle with additional salt and pepper.

8. Bake for 30 minutes uncovered or until cheese is golden and sauce is bubbling. Serve immediately, topped with fresh basil.