The gooey cheese, al dente pasta and a delicious sauce make baked ziti the ultimate comfort food.
From celebratory dish to your favourite home-cooked treat
Ziti al Forno, also known as baked ziti, is a dish that dates back to the middle-ages and the Renaissance period. This baked pasta dish was originally prepared in wood-fired ovens in Naples to be consumed at late-night feasts and celebrations in the residences of the monarchy. Although this was considered a luxury food at first, it quickly became a firm favourite in ordinary Italian homes due to the delicious nature of the cuisine.
Traditionally, this dish was prepared without the iconic Neapolitan tomato sauce. This is because tomatoes were only introduced into Italy during the 1700s. Although this is a quintessentially Italian dish, it has found its way into American cuisine and is now considered a staple in many a home chef’s repertoire.
How this delicious dish is prepared
The first step when preparing baked ziti is to boil your pasta because this dish is cooked twice. It is important to ensure that the pasta is just undercooked before you add it to your baking dish. Once the pasta is cooked it is tossed with a Neapolitan tomato sauce with plenty of garlic. Depending on the recipe that is being used, you may find minced pork included in the tomato sauce. Once all of the pasta is coated in sauce, the dish is topped with ricotta and Parmesan cheese. This is then placed into a hot oven until the cheese is bubbly and the pasta is al dente.
To enjoy this dish like the Italians do, go ahead and pour yourself a glass of red wine before you start eating. You can also serve your ziti al forno with a fresh salad to add a touch of green to your plate.
Treat yourself to some ziti al forno
This is one of the most versatile dishes that you will ever come across. Although it’s best when it comes straight from the oven, you could also order it as a takeout to indulge in at home. If you end up with any leftovers, simply pop them back into the oven to reheat. You could even freeze this dish to enjoy at a later time. Just don’t let any professional chef hear of your plans or they may have a heart attack
To satisfy your craving for baked ziti, place an order at any one of our favourite Italian restaurants and treat yourself to an unforgettable pasta experience.