Restaurant-Worthy Buca di Beppo Baked Ziti Made Simple
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Love Italian food? Then you’re in for a treat! I’ve managed to snag the recipe for Buca di Beppo Baked Ziti, and let me tell you, it’s a total game-changer! This dish is the ultimate comfort food for those laid-back family dinners or lively get-togethers.
And guess what? You can even give it your own twist with your favorite toppings! I mean, who doesn’t love a hearty, cheesy, tomatoey pasta bake?
Even better, Buca di Beppo’s Rosa Sauce will add a unique flavor profile to the dish with a hint of sweetness and spice! So, let’s get cooking—Buon appetito!
History of the Dish
Rewind to 1993, when a pasta-passionate Lutheran from Illinois, Phil Roberts, set out on a mission to bring the taste of his beloved Northeastern red sauce joints to the masses.
With a dash of fun and a pinch of flair, he established the first Buca di Beppo restaurant in a cozy Minneapolis basement, and “Joe’s small place” was born! Phil cooked up a storm, dishing out family-style feasts with heaps of pasta, meatballs, and salads for all to share.
And on the menu, Buca di Beppo Baked Ziti—a heavenly combo of penne, ricotta, mozzarella, and marinara sauce—stole the hearts (and stomachs) of Italian-American food enthusiasts from coast to coast.
This is more than just a dish. It represents the rich Italian-American heritage and culture that inspired Roberts and helped him build his famous restaurant chain.
What Can You Serve With Buca di Beppo Baked Ziti?
Want to give your Baked Ziti an extra lift? Just add some delicious sides! From greens to meaty options, there are plenty of choices.
Treat yourself and your guests to a salad with fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, and lettuce tossed in your favorite dressing.
Grab some garlic bread and chicken cordon bleu for something more substantial. Or go all out with mozzarella sticks, sticky ribs, steak kabobs, and blackened shrimp for an extra flavor boost.
Ground mild Italian sausage–a flavorful protein base—but you could use your preferred ground meat or veggie option.
- Ziti–cooked to al dente perfection–penne pasta or rigatoni can be used as an alternative.
- Marinara sauce–the backbone of this dish, providing a tangy and rich tomato flavor
- Mozzarella cheese shreds–for that melty, gooey cheese pull we all love.
- Minced garlic–adds a punch of garlicky goodness, but garlic powder can be used if needed.
- Italian seasoning–a blend of herbs to infuse the dish with classic Italian flavors
- Italian bread crumbs–adds texture and help bind the ingredients together
- Ricotta cheese – for a creamy layer that elevates the dish
- Olive oil – a kitchen staple for sautéing and enhancing the flavors of the other ingredients
Ready to experience a delicious night of Italian-inspired flavor? Well, lets crank up some tunes, and let’s get cooking.
First things first, let’s preheat that oven to a toasty 350 degrees. While the oven’s warming up, cook your pasta to al dente perfection. Drain it, shake it, and set it aside for now.
Next, combine your sausage, olive oil, garlic, and Italian seasoning in a skillet, and let those flavors come together as the sausage cooks through. Then, stir in your sauce and let it simmer on low for about 10 minutes.
At the same time, grab a large bowl and mix your cooked pasta, meat sauce, ricotta, and 2 cups of mozzarella.
Once your pasta mixture is ready to roll, spread it evenly into a 13×9 baking dish, and let the magic begin!
Sprinkle the remaining 2 cups of mozzarella over the top, and finish it with a generous dusting of breadcrumbs. Pop that bad boy in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes or until it’s bubbling and golden brown.
Then, grab your plates and get ready to serve up some ooey-gooey Buca di Beppo Baked Ziti goodness!
How Could You Switch Up This Recipe a Bit?
Make Buca di Beppo Baked Ziti your own with these easy recipe ideas.
You can add some tasty proteins like cooked ground beef, sausage, chicken, or bacon to the sauce. Or you can make it more colorful and nutritious by adding chopped spinach, mushrooms, zucchini, or broccoli.
To give your ziti an extra kick, add red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, or hot sauce to the sauce. For an even cheesier and creamier dish, try cheeses like cheddar, provolone, fontina, and gouda, or sprinkle some Parmesan cheese before baking.
And if you’d like to try something out of the ordinary, use rigatoni and penne fusilli shells or switch to whole wheat pasta for a healthier option. With these cool ideas, you’ll be serving up a one-of-a-kind Buca di Beppo Baked Ziti with everyone begging for seconds!
How long can I keep Buca di Beppo Baked Ziti leftovers in the fridge?
If you put the leftover baked ziti in an airtight plastic container, you can keep it in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Can I freeze Buca di Beppo Baked Ziti leftovers?
Yes, if you cover the extra baked ziti tightly in plastic and foil, you can keep it frozen for up to three months.
Can I make Buca di Beppo Baked Ziti ahead of time?
Yes, you can make your baked ziti and store it in the fridge or freezer until you are ready to bake it. Just follow the recipe until the step where you sprinkle the cheese on top of the dish. You can store the meal in the refrigerator for up to 2 days or freeze it for up to 3 months if it is covered with plastic wrap and foil.
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Buca di Beppo Baked Ziti
Love Italian food? Then you're in for a treat! I've managed to snag the recipe for Buca di Beppo's Baked Ziti, and let me tell you, it's a total game-changer! This dish is the ultimate comfort food for those laid-back family dinners or lively get-togethers.
- 1 lb ground mild Italian sausage
- 1 lb ziti, cooked
- 2 jars marinara sauce
- 4 cups mozzarella cheese shreds
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- ½ cup Italian bread crumbs
- 1 container ricotta cheese
- 2 tbsp olive oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cook pasta, drain, and set aside.
In a skillet cook the sausage with olive oil, garlic, and Italian seasoning until cooked through.
Stir in the sauce and simmer on low for 10 minutes.
In a large bowl mix the pasta, meat sauce, ricotta, and 2 cups of mozzarella until well combined.
Spread evenly into a 13x9 baking dish.
Sprinkle on the remaining 2 cups of mozzarella.
Top with breadcrumbs.
Bake for about 45 minutes.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 735Total Fat: 45gSaturated Fat: 20gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 26gCholesterol: 109mgSodium: 1377mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 40g