This is more work than a normal “weeknight” meal, but it is well worth it!!
Absolutely delicious and great for special occasions!
I topped it with grilled chicken breasts (bought from a local Italian restaurant) or you could add meat, but it’s wonderful without any too.
Note: You may want to either halve the recipe or use two pans. It fits in one, but you may have some spillover. If you use one pan, I definately recommend putting a pan under the baking dish to protect your oven.
FOR THE ZITI SAUCE:
4 cups tomato sauce
2 cups Alfredo sauce
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
3 tablespoons fontina cheese, shredded
1 teaspoon garlic pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
FOR THE ZITI TOPPING:
3 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs
3 tablespoons Romano cheese, grated
3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
1 tablespoon fresh garlic, chopped
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 pound dry ziti pasta
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
PREPARE THE ZITI SAUCE:
Combining all ingredients for the Ziti Sauce in a large bowl; cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
PREPARE THE ZITI TOPPING:
In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the first four ingredients for the Ziti Topping.
Add the garlic, oil, and parsley and mix until thoroughly blended. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
WHEN READY TO PREPARE THE WHOLE DISH:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 13-by-9-inch baking dish or large casserole with non-stick spray.
Prepare the pasta according to package directions.
Pour 1/2 cup of prepared ziti sauce into the prepared dish, and spread it evenly over the bottom using a spoon.
When pasta has finished cooking, drain the water and pour the hot pasta into the bowl of remaining sauce. Mix thoroughly; pour into the baking dish.
Spread 1 cup of shredded mozzarella over the pasta and sauce mixture.
Top the mozzarella with the prepared Ziti Topping, spreading evenly.
Place pan on center oven rack and bake until top is golden brown and cheese is bubbling, about 30 to 40 minutes.
Remove and serve immediately.
Servings: 6 to 8
From: Olive Garden Restaurant
Source: Rocky Mountain News, Food 10/19/2005