I really like making baked ziti. It's kind of time consuming, but it's so relaxing, and it's such good comfort food. But the problem I run into with baked ziti is that it makes so much food, and it would take me at least ten meals to get through all of it by myself. And I don't want to cut the recipe in half either, because then I'd just be left over with a bunch of baked ziti ingredients.
Last time I mentioned baked ziti, I said it would be good to cook for my family. So I figured that it would be the perfect dish for me to make for Christmas! Every year, my family likes to do something special for Christmas. One year it was "dip-mas", where everyone had to bring a dip. This past year was "app-mas", and everyone had to bring an appetizer that starts with the first letter of their name.
Well, my name doesn't start with a B or a Z, but I still wanted to make baked ziti! I decided to look up various pasta shapes to see if any started with an M or a K. Macaroni didn't quite feel right. But I found something that would work!
Mostaccioli. It's penne with no ridges.
My cousin even made a silly tiktok video, and I was very awkward in it.
And it turned out great! Mostaccioli is a great substitute for ziti. But I learned that not all pasta shapes work quite that well. A few weeks ago, we had a friend over, and I decided to make baked ziti again. This time I did halve the recipe (because it's still plenty for three people), and I didn't want to buy a box of ziti just to have half of it left over. I decided to use what was already in the pantry, which happened to be half a box of radiatore.
This definitely felt different. The dish wasn't bad, but it wasn't as good as the baked ziti I normally make. Something about the extra surface area and lack of tubular-ness.
And somehow, I still haven't gotten sick of variations on baked ziti, so this past weekend, I decided to make baked ravioli.
I actually was going to suggest baked ziti, but I switched it up, and used ravioli instead so I wouldn't have to buy ricotta cheese. This probably resembles lasagna more than ziti, but lasagna is just ziti with lasagna noodles anyway.
This was even easier to make than baked ziti, and it was really tasty too! My friend really enjoyed it.
That salad was also delicious. The chopped caesar salad kit from Aldi is 👌
I don't think of my mom as a pasta person, but the one pasta dish she would always come back to is baked ziti. It's kind of heavy, which is probably why she never makes it anymore, so I need to make it myself if I ever want to have some.
I've made this just a few times before, but it's not really a dish I come back to because I've found it to be a lot of work. I use the baked ziti recipe from Budget Bytes. In the past, I would halve the recipe, but this time I cooked the whole pound of pasta, and I actually found it to be a lot easier this way.
While it does taste best right after it's been cooked and taken out of the oven, leftover baked ziti isn't half bad. And we had a lot of leftovers. This might even be something I could cook for my family! (if they weren't all on a diet)
I really don't have much to say about the recipe. It does have a lot of steps, but it's pretty easy, and the end result is very satisfying and tasty.