A Baked Ziti With Egg Recipe That Is A Perfect Combination

This Baked Ziti with Egg recipe is a traditional dish that came from Sicily and is packed with flavor and tons of options that you can try to make it your own.

baked ziti with egg - Served

Ready To Eat

This recipe is a bit different from the versions of Baked Ziti that you will find on cooking programs and online, but I assure you that it is amazing. The biggest difference is that other recipes rely heavily on Mozzarella cheese to bind all the pasta together, but this version relies more on eggs. If you have never had eggs and pasta baked together, you are missing out on one of the greatest tastes in the world.

A Baked Ziti With Egg Recipe With A History

This recipe comes from Sicily and I can say this with a high level of certainty because when I was young, my aunts and cousins would make this every week for the Sunday get together and they were the immigrants who came to the US from Sicily. They barely spoke English, but they sure could cook and this was a favorite of the entire family.

For our family, it was called Baked Macaroni, which in the US today usually means a baked mac and cheese, which this isn’t. This is Baked Ziti with egg, meat and cheese and a ton of great memories from a long time ago.

Kitchen Tools And Cookware

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Mixing Bowls

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Key Baked Ziti With Egg Ingredients

You Need Long Ziti Pasta For This Baked Pasta Recipe

One of the other reasons this recipe is different from the versions that you will find online is the type of pasta used. Ziti macaroni is quite popular and easy to find, but the long version is a little more uncommon.

Pasta Pot with Strainer

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It is basically a dried tube pasta, but the length of spaghetti. You cook it only long enough to be bendable and it finishes cooking in the baking pan. You may need to go to an Italian specialty store to find it, but here in Rome it is much more common.

baked ziti with egg - Ingredients


What Is The Best Sauce For This Baked Ziti With Egg Recipe?

The simplest way to go is to use the tomato sauce that you typically use with your pasta. A basic red sauce is great, but if you are interested, you can go with a bit more complexity. In the pictures you see on this post you might notice the sauce I used is VERY meaty. This is because I used the Neapolitan Ragu that I posted about previously. It was also amazing.

baked ziti with egg - Meat Sauce

This Meat Sauce Is One Option

What Meat Should I Use For This Baked Ziti With Egg Recipe?

If you choose to use the Neapolitan Ragù that I mentioned above, there isn’t much need for additional meat. If you use a simpler red sauce, you can add some ground beef that is browned with onions, which is how the recipe is written below. I have also seen a great version that uses tiny meatballs in the layers of pasta and egg. I’m sure this is amazing, but my meatball recipe will come another time.

What Cheese Is Used In This Easy Baked Ziti Recipe?

This is important because there is NO Mozzarella cheese and no bechamel sauce used. As I mentioned above, this recipe uses eggs as the binder and not cheese, which is great because I have seen some versions that are just a big sloppy mess. This version only uses a hard cheese, like Parmigiano Reggiano, Grana Padano or Pecorino Romano. The cheese is simply for flavor and not to hold things together.

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How Long Do You Bake Baked Ziti?

For a simple recipe, like the one below, I would suggest cooking the Baked Ziti for between 45 minutes and 1 hour. You want to make sure the eggs are cooked and the pasta is brown and crunchy on top, but you also want to make sure it doesn’t burn too much. Nothing is better than browned and crunchy pasta, but nothing is worse than burnt and acrid pasta.

baked ziti with egg - Baking

Baking For An Hour

How To Make Baked Ziti With Egg And Ground Beef

You will pre-cook the ground beef by putting it, or part of it if the pan is too small, in a pan with a little oil. Add the onions and saute the beef until it is completely browned. You can instead add some seasonings like you would for making meatballs, and form very small meatballs. Precook them fully and add them to the layers of Ziti.

Frying Pan – 12 Inch

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Is Baked Ziti The Same As Lasagna?

These are two very different dishes and should be confused. Lasagne is a layered pasta of flat lasagna noodles, sauce, cheese, and often meat or vegetables. It typically has a bechamel sauce and mozzarella cheese in it. Baked Ziti, or Pasta al Forno is a pasta baked with ziti macaroni. It is a sauced pasta baked in a casserole dish, typically with cheese and sometimes with meat or vegetables.

baked ziti with egg - Eggs

Eggs, Not Cheese

Baked Ziti With Egg Recipe

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook: 1 Hour
  • Servings: 10-12

Ingredients For The Baked Ziti With Egg

  • 2 Lbs. Long Ziti Pasta
  • 2 Lbs. Ground Beef (80% Lean)
  • 1 Head Of Cauliflower (Optional)
  • 2-3 Onions (Depending on the size)
  • 1 Dozen Large Eggs
  • 4 Ounces of a hard cheese, like Parmigiano Reggiano, Grana Padano or Pecorino Romano
  • 32 Fluid Ounces of Pre-made Tomato Sauce seasoned for pasta
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
baked ziti with egg - Sprinkle

Sprinkle Cheese On Top

Cooking Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F

  2. If you choose to use the cauliflower, which is optional, boil the head in salted water until it softens. When it’s done, let it cool and break it into smaller pieces.

  3. Add the ground beef to a sauté pan and brown the meat. Add the onions and soften them up as well. If you cooked the cauliflower (Step 2) add them to the ground meat and onions and sauté them a little more. When done, set aside in a bowl to cool.

  4. Prepare  a large pasta pot with salted water and bring it to a boil. Add the long Ziti pasta and “Par-cook” it until it is bendable, but not fully cooked. Take a couple minutes off the recommended cooking time and it should be close.

  5. Beat the dozen eggs and add a handful of the cheeses, salt and pepper.

  6. Add olive oil to the bottom of the baking pan, then add a little salt.

  7. Add a thin layer of sauce on the bottom, then some of the eggs and top with cheese.

  8. Add a layer of pasta, ground beef, onion and cauliflower.

  9. Cover with Egg, Sauce and Cheese.

  10. Repeat steps 8 and 9 until all of the ingredients are gone.

  11. Add a layer of sauce and finally sprinkle cheese on top.

  12. Put the pan in the oven uncovered for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, check to see if it is nicely browned, but not burnt. When it’s done, remove it and let it cool a bit.

  13. When you are ready to serve, cut it into pieces and top with some pasta sauce and cheese.

Serving Suggestions

When we had this when I was growing up, it was served in individual portions, covered in sauce with a little more on the side. As the pasta sauce was typically made with meat, like meatballs, sausage, short ribs or braciole, the pasta was served with the meat on the side. Add some nice crusty bread for dipping and a glass of red wine and now you know what my version of heaven is like!

Previous Recipes That Might Interest You

If you enjoyed this Baked Ziti with Egg recipe, here are some of my previous recipes that you might want to try as well:

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