Olive Garden’s Five Cheese Ziti al Forno

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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.

Happy Cooking!

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
REMAINING INGREDIENTS:
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

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14 responses »

  1. If I ever have time to buy the ingredients, I might try this recipe out and other home cooked meals.

    First comment? And congrats on 900 hits. 🙂

  2. Thanks, this recipe is REALLY good. I’ve made it with chicken and without any kind of meat. Delicious both ways. IMHO it’s better than what you get at the restaurant. The only problem I have with it, is Fontina cheese isn’t something I use a lot of, you can only buy blocks of it (at least around here), and there is no good substitute. But it’s worth using anyway. I just need to find some recipes that use Fontina, so I can make the ziti and not feel bad about not using the rest of the fontina. 🙂 Let us know how you like it!

    • I use the remaining Fontina cheese in a salad to go with the pasta. I cube it up and add roma tomatoes and arugula. Toss it with a little oil and vinegar or your favorite salad dressing!

  3. Thanks I have been looking everywhere for this recipe. It tastes better if you use penne because the sauce sticks on the pasta better and it just has a better taste.

    • I always use classico four cheese spaghetti sauce. If I’m not mistaken, tomato sauce is simply tomatoes blended up into a sauce, while marinara has herbs and seasonings added. My suggestion is use whatever you would use for spaghetti. 🙂

  4. Try going to the deli at Publix or Fresh Market and ask for a slice of fontina cheese; it will be about 3Tbls shredded for just under a dollar.

  5. I’ve been looking for this recipe for soooo long! This is my fav thing from olive garden . I get it every single time I go there. I used to use heavy cream. I didn’t know it was alfredo. Thanks 🙂

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