Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Mario Batali's Baked Ziti

Mario, I love you. No, seriously, I really love you. After making your baked ziti this past weekend, I realized that a chubby bearded man wearing orange clogs is what Ive been looking for all along.

I decided that before I attempt to embrace my healthy New Year resolutions, I would go out with a bang. Mario's baked ziti was just what we were looking for . I've been eating numerous variations of ziti for a very long time. Most of them, blahhhhh. I always hope for something special, perhaps a little basciamella, fresh mozzarella, nope never. Its always the same, an aluminum tray of ho mum overcooked ziti sitting on top of a whimpy Sterno flame. Well, Mario changes all of that, introducing Mario's Ziti al Telefono.
  • 1 pound ziti(Cooked al dente, drain and rinse under cool water)
  • 2 cups tomato sauce (I used a jarred sauce called Patsy's)
  • 2 cups besciamella (directions below)
  • 1 pound of fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup grated parmigiano reggiano


5 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 cup flour

3 cups of whole milk

1 to 2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Add the flour, stirring till light golden brown, about 6 minutes. Add milk to the butter mixture 1 cup at a time, whisking constantly. Cook till thickened, about 10 minutes, remove from heat. Season with salt and nutmeg, let cool.

Place drained cooked ziti in a large bowl. Add the tomato sauce, basciamella, mozzarella and Parmigiano to the ziti. Mix and stir well. I divided the pasta into 8 individual gratin dishes. A 9 by 13 dish works great as well. Bake for 20 minutes until bubbling and crusty on top. Serve immediately.


  1. oh this looks scrumpy hope it warms up for you and your doggy lol


  2. I love Mario! His food always looks so beautiful and scrumptious.

  3. Hahaha man with the orange clogs, how funny:)

    This certainly does look delightful!

  4. I am thrilled to see a mario batli recipe here! You know, I truly think that man is gifted. I love him too.

  5. I love how Mario's recipes really highlight the flavors of a few quality ingredients and don't get bogged down with a never-ending list of ingredients. This sounds fantastic!

    By the way, I love your gratin dishes!

  6. Oh a behcamel type sauce - never have done that in my baked ziti. Hats off to you and Mario!

  7. That looks simple but absolutely delicious! I had no idea that that was ziti pasta. Here we call it penne :D

  8. If you say this is the best baked ziti then I believe you! Like you, I have never come across a really good baked ziti dish, that really hit the spot.
    I have printed this recipe- I really like Mario's dishes but, have found his recipes to be a bit complicated. This one looks pretty easy. Thanks for sharing.

  9. LOL! I love this post! I actually was so fortunate to meet him at Babbo many years ago...I swear he wears the same clothes on and off camera! His recipes are always so simple yet so good!

  10. My husband gave me a copy of his latest cookbook and I've yet to brake the seal. I will now after reading this post! Thanks for the inspiration!

  11. Mario is superb, hubby and I were just talking about him tonight. He was my mothers favorite! The ziti looks wonderful and I'll bet it tastes that way too.

  12. I adore Mario. A huge, Italian man with red hair and orange clogs? Can't beat that!
    The ziti is just reminiscent of him, too! Cheesy, red, delicious, lovable! :D

  13. Simple, yet perfect! Bechamel is always delicious with a pasta. Actually, delicious with a lot of things!

    Gotto love Mario!

  14. I think I always complicate baked ziti. Sometimes it's wonderful that way. But, sometimes I think I probably need a nice chubby little man with orange clogs to guide me in my kitchen too! Love it.

  15. Oooooo Ahhhh this looks good. I love Mario Batali. That family can cook!

    I love your picture by the way. Those little blue dishes really make this shot amazing.


  16. i love ziti and love pasta al forno (pasta from the oven)! i would like to wish you a happy new year and give you an award. please check it on my blog :)
    have a sweet day,

  17. Wow this looks great! And a great presentation.

  18. Oh goodness, looks so yummy! Such a filling meal.

  19. I love Mario and I love baked ziti!! This looks incredible.

  20. I must try this. I do agree about some zitis just being blah. I love any version that doesn't have the usual red sauce.

  21. Mario does have a great way with pasta, and it's amazing whata good bechamella can do. Nice blog, well written and informative.