We spent the weekend getting in the Christmas spirit. On Saturday, we woke up early and made a quick stop at Starbucks for a mocha latte on our way to Kraynak’s. Kraynak’s is located in Hermitage, PA. In addition to its huge selection of toys and Christmas decorations, it also has Christmas Tree Lane. It is a must stop each year for me before Christmas. It typically opens at the beginning of September and closes just after Christmas with a huge sale. After checking out all of the cute decorations, we made another holiday stop to look at more gorgeous decorations.
Besides the decoration shopping, my mom had a house guest. I spent a good portion of my weekend cooking. I wanted to share one of my go to make ahead meals for entertaining.
Baked Ziti is our family’s name for this dish. I don’t always use ziti, though. In fact I almost always use whole wheat penne pasta. In the picture I used rigatoni. It doesn’t really matter which one you use, you could even use bow ties if you like. No matter which pasta you pick, it is a hot, cheesy, bubbly, pasta dish. It can be made ahead and baked just before guests arrive.
My mom likes to serve this with meatballs on the side. For me, the baked ziti is enough with a small salad or some soup. It makes the perfect holiday season make ahead dish.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Ingredients (6-8 servings)
- 12 ounces whole wheat penne, cooked 1 minute less than package directions
- 3 cups marinara sauce
- 1 handful parmesan cheese
- 1 cup Ricotta Cheese
- 8 ounces grated mozzarella cheese
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine the pasta, marinara, and parmesan in a large bowl. Pour into a 9×13 baking dish. Top with dollops of Ricotta cheese and mozzarella and bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly and brown. Allow to rest 10 minutes before serving.