CARBS is the best gift you can give someone. This Veggie Baked Ziti with Burrata is meant for two people. It’s a meal of love. Of romance.
Is there anything more romantic and gorgeous than a ball of melty burrata on warm pasta. I think not!
Why Baked Ziti Is Amazing
When I think of cold temperatures and autumn and cold nights, I think of baked pastas as the cure all.
Baked ziti is one of my favorite meals that hail from the gorgeous state of New Jersey. JK JK. While most would think that baked ziti is a super Americanized Italian dish, it actually is straight from Italy. Ziti al forno (baked ziti) has a history going back to the late Middle Ages and Renaissance. Now, it’s very common in Southern Italy: Sicily, Naples, Amalfi and Salerno.
Why Veggie Baked Ziti
Well, why not. I love so many dishes when they make a vegetarian turn. This is indulgent enough. We’re talking mozzarella AND burrata. Making it a bit lighter by skipping the meat and replacing it with diced mushrooms, carrots and red bell pepper is nice.
he sauce is mixed with a bit of mozzarella and ricotta for some lightness. And then the whole thing is baked. At the very end, you add half a ball of burrata to each dish and then put it back in the oven until it’s juuuust melty. The results are SO GOOD it made me want to cry.
Baked Ziti For Two
This baked ziti is for a date night at home. I say stay in and make this instead. This is perfect for two people. But obviously, double it if you have more people coming over. Quadruple it for more people. Below (in the notes) you’ll find the sizes of the baking dishes that are recommended.
If you make this Veggie Baked Ziti with Burrata, lemme know via Instagram or in the comments below.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small carrot, peeled and diced
- 1/4 red bell pepper, diced
- 3 cremini or button mushrooms, stems removed and diced
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 1 cup crushed tomatoes, (from a can) or store-bought marinara sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes , plus more for garnish
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella, plus a 1 tablespoon for topping
- 1/3 cup ricotta
- 1 ball of burrata
- 1/2 pound ziti
- Basil leaves or Italian parsley, for garnish
- In a medium saucepan, set over medium heat, add the olive oil. When the oil is warm, add the carrot, red bell pepper and diced mushrooms. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Next, mix in the minced garlic, crushed tomatoes or marinara sauce, salt and crushed red pepper and 1/4 cup of water. Bring the sauce to a simmer and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook until the sauce has thickened, about 7 to 8 minutes. When the sauce has thickened, add the mozzarella and ricotta and mix it until combined.
- Meanwhile, to a pot of salted boiling water, add the ziti and cook until al dente. Drain and add to the pot with the sauce and mix until the ziti is thoroughly coated in sauce.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Let’s talk about the vessel. You can use two mini cast iron pans. Or you could use one small 8-inch baking dish or even a loaf pan would work nicely. add the ziti amongst whatever vessel or vessels you’re using. Top with a small sprinkling of mozzarella. Transfer to the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
- At the 20 minute mark, remove it from the oven. Remove the burrata from its casing and divide it into two portions (obviously if you’re using one 8-inch serving dish then don’t divide it).
- Add it to the center of the ziti and place it back in the oven to bake for 3 minutes longer, just until it’s melty and warm. Garnish with a teeny bit of crushed red pepper and a few leaves of fresh basil or Italian parsley.
If you’re looking for another baked pasta recipe, try this Mini Meatball Pasta Bake!