Home Chef Old-School Baked Ziti

This classic Italian-American comfort icon will put your mind, heart and belly in a happy place with layers of cheese, mushrooms, spinach and penne. Serve it with fresh garlic bread and chow down.

Serves: 2Prep: 15 minutesCook: 50 minutesTotal: 1 hour 5 minutesDifficulty: Easy

Serves: 2


  • 9 ounces butter, softened
  • 6 ounces penne
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1⁄4 cup white cooking wine
  • 1 can (15 oz.) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3⁄4 cup Cremini mushrooms, cut into ¼” slices
  • 1⁄2 baguette, halved lengthwise then sliced at an angle into four wedges
  • 1⁄2 cup baby spinach
  • 1⁄2 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 2 tablespoons grated Pecorino cheese
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Ground Pepper


  • Preheat oven to 425°F. Prepare baking sheet with foil. Spray casserole dish with cooking spray.
  • Bring medium pot of lightly salted water to boil. Add pasta to boiling water and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta. Reserve pot; no need to wipe clean.
  • In small pot over medium heat, add 2 teaspoons olive oil and half the garlic. Cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add white wine and cook 1 minute. Stir in crushed tomatoes, ½ cup water and oregano. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer; cook, stirring often, 8 to 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Return pot used to cook pasta to medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and mushrooms; cook until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in spinach; cook until wilted, 1 minute. Remove pot from burner. Toss in sauce and cooked pasta.
  • On bottom of prepared casserole dish, layer half the pasta then half the mozzarella. Add remaining pasta and sprinkle with Pecorino and remaining mozzarella. Bake until top is golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes. While penne bakes, spread butter and remaining garlic on baguette. Halfway through pasta cooking time, place baguette on baking sheet and bake until golden brown, 7 to 9 minutes.
  • Serve pasta straight from casserole dish along with garlic bread.