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  • Writer's picturemandyjdc

Five Cheese Ziti

Some of you may know I take my Italian food seriously, and I usually try to keep it authentic. Well... this isn't it! This is a good old Italian-American dish, and I love it. If you're a fan of Olive Garden's 5 cheese ziti, you'll go crazy for this recipe! It's an easy, quick, weeknight meal you can throw together, and will be a hit with adults and children alike. My niece is picky when it comes to eating new things, and she couldn't get enough of this and neither could I!

It's creamy, cheesy, and bursting with flavor. When you take a bite, the clouds will part, angels will sing, and you'll be transcended to paradise....Just kidding. None of that will happen, but it will be a similar experience, I promise.

For the pasta aficionados out there, you'll notice that my pasta in the picture is not ziti, but mostaccioli. Grocery store didn't have ziti, sorry. I found that mostaccioli works better, as the grooves help the sauce cling to the pasta, whereas ziti noodles are smooth and the sauce tends to slide off. You could also use a shell pasta, rigatoni, or spiral (rotini) pasta.

I also love that this can easily be frozen, and reheats really well. I would just add a little more marinara sauce after cooking from frozen to keep from drying out.

Let's get to it, shall we?!


1 lb Ziti or pasta of choice

2 C Marinara of choice (I used Rao's)

1 C Heavy cream

15 oz Canned, diced tomatoes

1 tsp Sugar

3/4 C Grated parmesan, romano, asiago blend. If not available, just use parmesan

1/2 C Grated fontina or gruyere cheese

1 1/2 C Shredded mozzarella

1/2 C Italian breadcrumbs

Salt to taste

How To:

  1. Set oven to broil. Heavily salt a large pot of water and bring to a boil. Cook pasta according to box directions.

  2. In a medium sized pot, combine marinara sauce, heavy cream, sugar, and diced tomatoes. Add salt to taste. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add in 1/2 C of the parmesan blend, 1/2 C fontina, and 1/2 C of the mozzarella. Stir and cook until bubbly and cheese is melted. Remove from heat.

  3. Drain pasta, and dump into a 9X13 in casserole dish. Ladle sauce over the pasta, and evenly distribute 1 C mozzarella, 1/4 C parmesan blend, and 1/2 C breadcrumbs on top.

  4. Broil in oven for about 5 minutes or until hot and bubbly!

Mangia Bene!


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