Baked ziti with fresh herb garnish
The Trio Of Cheeses That Are Essential For Baked Ziti
Rather than using just one cheese, a baked ziti recipe benefits more from multiple types. Each cheese has its own role, and ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan won't disappoint.
This trio performs best in your hearty pasta casserole. The ricotta adds a creamy, silky texture and a slightly sweet flavor, while parmesan offers a sharp, salty, savory bite.
Mozzarella melts and stretches exceptionally well, adding to the coveted cheesy gooeyness of the final product. You have to add these cheeses in the right order, however.
Fold the ricotta into your marinara sauce with onion, garlic, tomato paste, red wine, tomato sauce, and spices. Mixing the cheese in will keep it from turning grainy while baking.
To assemble the baked ziti, start with a layer of sauce, then top with mozzarella, pasta, and more mozzarella. Shredded mozz works, but slices make for a thicker, gooier layer.
Sprinkle shredded parmesan under your top layer of mozzarella for an instant bite of flavor. Finally, tent the dish with foil for most of the baking time so the cheese won't burn.