Italian cuisine is incomplete without baked Ziti. If you are unsure about it, you are about to savor details with a bias on baked Ziti Sicilian style. Did you know that baked Ziti has a 26% popularity in the global population?
The statistics make this Italian cuisine a must-taste delicacy. So, to know more about baked Ziti, let’s get started.
What is Baked Ziti?
Baked Ziti refers to baked pasta. It comes in different recipes, including baked Ziti with Mozzarella cheese. The list of the recipes is endless. So, be sure that you can always find Ziti food that matches your taste.
One of the main ingredients of any Ziti recipe is Ziti noodles and meat. However, some people use other types of noodles. The other ingredient is marinara or tomato sauce. You do not have to stick to one recipe when preparing baked Ziti.
You can tweak any recipe to your liking. Throwing in eggplant and Mozzarella cheese will make your Ziti yummier. For example, Italian-Americans bake Ziti using fat little pasta tubes. They also throw in various ingredients such as bell pepper, mushroom, and sausages. Even though there are several ways of making Ziti, baking remains the dominant method.
What Does Ziti Mean in Italian?
Before making your baked Ziti Sicilian style with eggplant, you need to know what Ziti means in Italian. Ziti refers to the “macaroni of the bride” in Italian. It was a popular dish at Italian wedding traditions, and it served as the first course. That is why Italians include the word bride in the meaning of Ziti.
Ziti comes from Naples, Italy, and has straight-cut ends to differentiate it from penne. Often, some people get confused when identifying Ziti from penne. However, penne has diagonal ends, and it is for making baked penne with Mozzarella or any other penne dish.
Ziti pasta measures 10 inches in length. Their diameter is a quarter of an inch. Many people rarely cook Ziti in its original size. Instead, they usually cut it into smaller pieces. In most hotels and restaurants, you will find Ziti cuts measuring between 1.5-3 inches.
In the Campania region of Italy, people used to make oven-baked casseroles using Ziti. When the pasta gets slightly done, one should add the rest of the ingredients on top. The resultant moisture and steam continue to cook the pasta until it becomes ready.
The History of Baked Italian Ziti
You must be yearning to know the recipe for making Sicilian baked Ziti, but let us first understand the history of baked Italian Ziti. The baked Ziti that Italians make dates back to the Renaissance and late middle ages. During that time, the nobles used to hold banquets in their palaces. Over time, the trend reached Italy.
In the early days, baking Ziti was a chance for a chef to showcase resourcefulness and creativity. This fact explains why baking Ziti takes place on holidays, Sundays, and special occasions. In other words, baked Ziti remains a special meal reserved for a particular purpose. Today, Ziti remains a staple food in Southern Italy.
Is Ziti Italian or American?
Before enjoying your baked Ziti with Mozzarella cheese, let us indulge you on whether Ziti is Italian or American. Even though we think that pasta is originally from Italy, it has its roots in the early Asian civilizations.
To answer your question, let’s find out the inventor of baked pasta. Legend has it that Marco Polo took pasta to Italy from China. Polo had gone to China in the period between 1271 and 1368. That was the period of the Yuan Dynasty. Legend also has it that the Chinese have been eating noodles since 3000 B.C.
Your Easy Baked Ziti Sicilian Style
If you are looking for an authentic Italian baked Ziti recipe, you can try one that features the Sicilian style. It is easy to follow, and it details all you need to bake Ziti. Let us find out the process:
Recipe Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Nutritional Content per serving:
- Calories: 375
- Total fat: 15.85g
- Cholestrol: 15mg
- Sodium: 498mg
- Total carbohydrates: 34.16g
- Proteins: 23.01g
- Calcium: 254mg
- Iron: 2.65mg
- Potassium: 423mg
- Vitamin A: 77Mcg
- Vitamin C: 3.8mg
- 1 large skillet
- 2 stirring spoons
- 1 large pot
- 1 drainer
- 1 shallow serving bowl
- Serving plates
- 2 tablespoons Olive oil
- 1(½ inch dice cuts) small eggplant
- 1(½ inch dice cuts) small red-bell pepper
- 1 (pressed) large garlic clove
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 can (29 ounces) diced tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon (drained) capers
- Salt (add to taste)
- Freshly-ground black pepper (add to taste)
- ¼ cup (chopped) basil
- 1 lb Ziti pasta
- Freshly-grated cheese (pecorino romano or parmesan)
- Use a large skillet to heat the olive oil at medium heat.
- Add the pieces of the eggplant. Let them cook for 10 minutes until they get a light brown color. Stir occasionally.
- Add garlic and bell pepper. Cook for 5 minutes until softened.
- Add tomatoes, capers, tomato paste, black pepper, and salt to taste. Let them boil.
- Tune the heat to low and allow simmering for 5 minutes.
- Add basil over low heat.
- Use a large pot to boil Ziti while occasionally stirring until they become cooked but hard to bite (al dente). It should take 8-10 minutes.
- Drain the pasta and put them in a shallow serving bowl.
- Pour the sauce over the pasta and sprinkle your grated cheese on top. Toss gently.
- Now you can serve your Ziti immediately.
Now you know the recipe for baked Ziti Sicilian style with eggplant or baked Ziti parmesan. A quick internet browse can give you recipes for baked Ziti without ricotta. Regardless, such recipes ensure that your results will be the best ever baked Ziti.
The Final Say
Baking in Sicilian style is just one of the ways of preparing Ziti. To reiterate, you can bake Ziti in any way you find best. The preparation of the cuisine remains unrestricted to date. So, you can look out for other recipes of making:
- Mozzarella pasta bake
- Baked Ziti sorrentino
- Ziti marinara
- Baked Ziti Mozzarella
- Ziti with marinara sauce
Alternatively, you can use penne to make penne Mozzarella bake. However, why don’t you try baking Ziti first? Now that you understand baking Ziti, all you need to do is find the listed simple-to-find ingredients. Afterward, set that special day when the carpet will roll out for you to bake your Ziti.