Yes it’s the middle of the holiday season and I am posting baked ziti, know why? Because it’s not a roast or ham or cookie recipe, I need a break. This ziti is a simple casserole dish that can travel to pot luck or feed a house full of holiday guests with only a little bit of work on your part. It’s a pretty basic ziti except I add in pepperoni and (if my mom is not coming to dinner) pesto. If you are like my mom and don’t like pesto no worries just leave it out and you still can enjoy the extra peppery kick of the pepperoni with just a little “normal” Italian spices tossed in to the ricotta. If you love pesto homemade or store bought will work perfectly in this recipe, but do give the ricotta a taste after you mix in the pesto because strength can vary widely in pesto and you want to be sure you have mixed in enough.
I always make double or triple batches of homemade meat sauce, meaty marinara, spaghetti sauce or whatever you would like to call it. Thus I have batches frozen anytime I need/want to make a ziti. If you don’t have your own spaghetti sauce recipe there are a thousand great meat sauce recipes out there pick one and use that for this ziti, I sure it will work just perfect. I served this with some red wine, crusty bread and a Swiss Chard salad. Enjoy!!
Pepperoni Baked Ziti
- 1 lbs package of ziti or penne pasta
- 6-8 cups of homemade red meat sauce
- 2 medium onions
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1 small container of ricotta cheese
- 1 32 oz package of shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 can crushed tomatoes
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup of red wine
- 3.5 oz package of sliced pepperoni